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Body camera video released of deadly Hayward police shooting

(KRON) — The Hayward Police Department released police officers’ body-worn camera videos and new information about what happened during a fatal police shooting.

Antonio Lacunas-Escobar, 37, of Hayward, was in possession of a BB pistol when he was shot by two HPD officers outside a Safeway store on City Center Drive the night of September 6, according to police. Escobar was suspected of trying to shoplift from the Safeway and officers mistook the BB pistol as a handgun, the police department said.

Police uploaded the body camera videos on the Hayward Police Department’s YouTube page Thursday.

Police officers were initially dispatched to the area after witnesses called 911 reporting that a man was armed with a handgun at 9:40 p.m. “The caller reported that the man pointed a gun at her and a friend as they drove away from the area,” HPD wrote.

Officers also spoke with a Safeway security guard who said a man tried to steal items from the store. When officers found Escobar, he was “uncooperative and walked away from them,” HPD wrote. The officers said when they ordered him to stop, he turned and pointed what appeared to be a firearm in their direction. Two officers opened fire.

Escobar was pronounced dead at the scene. None of the three officers at the scene were injured.

Acting Police Chief Bryan Matthews said, “Any loss of life is tragic, and this incident is no exception. My heart goes out to the decedent and his family, as well as anyone involved in this incident, including the Hayward officers. We recognize that the community entrusts us with the legal authority to carry out our duties and we do not take that responsibility lightly.”

The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office is conducting a criminal investigation into the actions of the officers. An independent third-party consultant and their use-of-force experts are also conducting an independent investigation to determine whether the involved officers complied with Hayward Police Department policies.

The Hayward Police Department wrote Thursday, “These investigations are still ongoing, and our understanding of the incident may change as additional evidence is collected, analyzed, and reviewed. We do not draw any conclusions about whether the officers acted consistently with our policies and the law until all the facts are known and the investigations are complete.”

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