Authorities Thursday released video of a shooting by three Harbor Police personnel of a man who allegedly threatened them with a gun outside their headquarters.
Eric Jesus Medina, 29, survived the shooting, which occurred as he allegedly pointed a handgun in the direction of Officer James Macmaster, before Lt. Victor Banuelos and Sgt. Scott Ferraioli came to aid their colleague.
The trio fired on Medina in front of the Harbor Police base in the 3300 block of North Harbor Drive on the afternoon of April 10, according to the Port of San Diego. The law-enforcement agency patrols port lands.
Video cameras mounted in and outside the building and one worn by Macmaster captured footage of the shooting, some of which was posted to YouTube.
The officers discharged about three dozen rounds. Macmaster and Ferraioli each reloaded during the incident. It remains unclear if Medina returned fire, though investigators found a live round in the chamber of his gun and an expended cartridge in its barrel, according to port officials.
The events that led to the barrage of gunfire began about 1:30 pm, when Medina parked in front of the headquarters building, walked up to its front entryway and used a public call box on its facade to request assistance.
“Hello. I was wondering if you could help me here right outside in front? ” Medina asked, as captured on the footage released Thursday.
When the emergency operator, who identifies himself as David, asked Medina what kind of help he needed, the man doesn’t respond and turns away from the callbox.
In the next portion of the footage, this time from cameras mounted on the building with no audio, Macmaster exits headquarters to check on the situation. He then quickly retreats behind a pillar while using a radio on his shoulder to summon help. Medina is not visible.
More footage, this time from Macmaster’s body-worn camera, shows Medina sitting in a gray Honda Civic, which he had moved to a spot directly in front of the police station entrance.
When Macmaster calls out to ask if he needed to talk, Medina said he did, then allegedly pointed a black pistol at Macmaster through his open driver’s-side window. That prompted the lawman’s hasty retreat.
“He’s got a gun, Macmaster said, urgently, but calmly. “He’s got a gun.”
While awaiting backup, Macmaster shouted and cursed, instructing the suspect to drop the weapon and put his hands up. At one point, Medina pulls his hands back into the vehicle before allegedly aiming the pistol at the officer again.
Macmaster, joined by Ferraioli, who came outside, began shooting at the suspect, and Banuelos discharged his service firearm from inside the lobby of the building, according to Harbor Police officials. The gunfire, according to the time stamp on the YouTube post, lasts nearly continuously for 28 seconds.
“Units use caution coming around the front of HQ,” Ferraioli instructs other authorities coming to their aid, as Macmaster says, “I’m good, I’m not hit.”
Wounded by “several” gunshots, Medina was taken into custody, according to a Harbor Police statement.
Paramedics took the suspect to a trauma center, where he was admitted in critical condition.
Medina was arranged in the hospital last week on charges of assault with a deadly weapon on peace officers. He has since been transferred to San Diego Central Jail, where he is being held without bail pending trial.
– Staff and wire reports