RPD releases video to detail officer-involved shooting

RPD releases video to detail officer-involved shooting
A clip from surveillance video released by police regarding an officer-involved shooting in Richmond's Iron Triangle neighborhood on Feb. 27, 2019.

The Richmond Police Department has released a video providing audio and surveillance footage and details about an officer-involved shooting in the Iron Triangle neighborhood on Feb. 27, 2019.

The over 10-minute video was released more than two weeks after an East Bay Express reporter questioned Richmond police Chief Allywn Brown’s initial description of the incident.

According to the video narrated by Richmond police Lt. Matthew Stonebraker, the incident occurred the night of Feb. 27, when a woman called 911 to report an assault at Joe’s Market at 95 West Macdonald Ave. The caller said an intoxicated man waving a handgun around slapped her in the face while she was waiting for her food. The suspect was identified as as Nahum Perez.

Officers responded and said they were initially unable to locate Perez. They canvassed the area and found a person matching his description walking in the area of 6th Street and Barrett Avenue. When the officers attempted to detain him, Perez fled and they temporarily lost sight of him.

“Shortly thereafter, officers heard a single gunshot not far away coming from the victim’s flight path,” Stonebraker said.

Det. Kristian Palma parked his department-issued detective’s vehicle to 6th Street south of Nevin Avenue in order to help set up a perimeter, Stonebraker said. While there, the detective spotted the suspect running eastbound on Nevin Avenue, alongside the northern wall of the Nevin Community Center. The detective confronted Perez by yelling “stop, Richmond police,” but Perez continued to run directly at him. The officer also saw that Perez was carrying a “longer than usual” pistol magazine in his hand, Stonebraker said.

The detective then opened fire on Perez, striking him. Perez “quickly tossed the extended magazine to the ground and complied with the order to lay on the ground,” Stonebraker said. He was transported to the hospital with non life threatening injuries.

“Knowing that a citizen had seen the suspect with a gun, as well as hearing that the suspect had fired that gun while being pursued by RPD officers, [the detective] believed that the suspect was an immediate threat to himself and the public,” Stonebraker said.

In CCTV surveillance footage from outside the market prior to the incident, Perez can be seen racking the slide of a firearm before concealing it in his waistband. Later, while Perez was initially fleeing police, video footage captured him discarding his firearm into a yard while running on 5th Street.

During a police interview at the hospital, Perez was asked what he thought about being shot by police.

“They think I have a gun,” he said, according to Stonebraker. “It could have been a lot worse.”

Perez reportedly added, “I don’t blame the police at all,” and when asked why he did not discard the magazine when he discarded the firearm, Perez said, “I don’t know, I was drunk man,” according to Stonebraker.

Perez also told police he recently had a friend killed in San Francisco and carried the gun for protection.

Perez was arrested on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, possession of a high capacity magazine, and obstructing a police officer and pleaded guilty to the charges.

Stonebraker said he hopes the video was informative and helped RPD increase its transparency and community engagement.