Richmond: Man’s death after violent police encounter under investigation

PATROL ACTIVITY REPORT – WEEKLY OVERVIEW: APRIL 8 – 14, 2024 Below is an overview of significant service activity provided by RPD patrol officers during their scheduled shifts. Please note that activity shared in these segments are provided only as an overview, and do not reflect the entirety of service calls and reports taken throughout each shift. 4/8 – EMBEZZLE LEASED/RENTED VEHICLE-RECOVERY Officers responded to a Flock alert for a stolen vehicle in the area. Officers located the vehicle occupied and conducted an enforcement stop. The solo occupant was taken into custody without incident. #3579 4/10 – TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT OPERATION Officers conducted a traffic enforcement operation along the 23rd St corridor to address various issues such as speeding and pedestrian safety. The operation yielded 24 citations: 19 for speed, 2 for unsafe lane changes, 1 red light, 1 not yielding to pedestrians in a crosswalk, and 1 not yielding to an ambulance 4/10 – GRAND THEFT Officers responded to Stenmark Dr for a report of wire theft. Witnesses saw two subjects cutting wires and attempted to contact the subjects, but fled on foot. With the use of a drone (UAS), Officers located the two suspects near Point Molate Beach. Both suspects were taken into custody without incident. A search of the suspects revealed several Sawzall blades and a small amount of narcotics. Both suspects were booked into RPD jail. #3611 4/11 - MISC INFORMATION Officers responded to the 700 block of Amador St for a report of an unknown issue. Upon arrival, officers located a subject laying on the grass, unconscious and not breathing. Officers began life saving measures and administered Narcan, AMR arrived on scene and took over life saving measures. The subject regained consciousness a few moments later and was transported to a local hospital for further treatment. #3663 4/12 – ARMED ROBBERY Officers responded to the area of S. 23rd St & Ohio Ave for a report of a robbery. Officers learned the victim was driving when two suspect vehicles blocked the victim’s roadway and two suspects ordered the victim to exit his vehicle while brandishing firearms. The suspects removed cash from the victim’s pockets and fled prior to officers’ arrival. Officers conducted an area check with negative results. 4/14 – STOLEN VEHICLE/RECOVERY Officers responded to a Flock alert for a stolen vehicle in the area. Officers located the vehicle occupied and conducted an enforcement stop. The solo occupant was taken into custody without incident. #3707 4/14 – FELON IN POSSESSION OF A FIREARM/ EVADE POLICE Officers on patrol saw a vehicle driven by a suspect who had outstanding warrants and was believed to be armed. Officers attempted to conduct an enforcement stop but the suspect failed to yield. Officers pursued the vehicle to the area of Highway 4 and Pine St in Martinez where the suspect’s vehicle became disabled after colliding with another vehicle. All occupants attempted to flee on foot after the collision but were quickly taken into custody. During the pursuit, officers saw what appeared to be a firearm being discarded from the suspect vehicle, officers searched the area and located the discarded firearm with the assistance of a police K-9. #3731
Photo credit: RPD

A man’s death two days after he was involved in a violent encounter with Richmond police officers is being jointly investigated by the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office and the Richmond Police Department.

At about 2:40 p.m. Tuesday, a female called 911 stating her mother was involved in a domestic disturbance, Richmond police spokesperson Sgt. Aaron Pomeroy said. Dispatchers “heard chaos in the background and immediately dispatched officers to the scene on S. 9th Street,” Pomeroy said.

Arriving officers met with the victim’s daughter who said her mom and boyfriend were inside the home. Officers were met by the suspect in a hallway and a struggle ensued immediately, Pomeroy said.

“During the altercation which lasted several minutes, the suspect attempted to remove an officer’s firearm from his holster, however was unsuccessful,” the sergeant said. “Officers were physically able to overcome the resistance and take the suspect into custody.”

According to the East Bay Times, which identified the man as Jose Luis Lopez, 40, of Richmond, officers “struck him with batons and attempted to use a stun gun on him.”

While the Richmond Fire Department and paramedics were at the scene, the suspect suffered a medical emergency and was taken to the hospital. Today at 10:45 a.m., he was pronounced deceased, Pomeroy said.

As a result, RPD enacted a Law Enforcement Incident Fatality (LEIF) protocol, prompting the joint investigation into the suspect’s death. The Contra Costa County coroner’s office will conduct an autopsy to determine cause of death.

Multiple officers were treated at a local hospital for minor injuries following the encounter with the man.