Police release dramatic footage of California officer-involved shooting

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VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. – The Oxnard Police Department released surveillance footage of an officer-involved shooting where a suspect attempted to take a police officer’s gun from him.

Police said in a news release that while on patrol, Oxnard Police Officer Oncea saw a man, identified as Joel Tapia Jr., and attempted to take him into custody for outstanding warrants.

“Officer Oncea knew Tapia had outstanding warrants, and contacted him to take him into custody,” police wrote in a statement. “What ensued was Tapia resisting arrest, and then actively assaulting the officer.”

In the surveillance footage released by police, Oncea and Tapia Jr. appear to struggle for approximately two and a half minutes.

“During the course of the struggle, Officer Oncea discharged his firearm, striking Tapia,” the statement said.

Police released the surveillance footage of the incident to the public, saying the following actions by Tapia Jr. showed “the seriousness of this situation:

● “Tapia resists the officer’s initial effort to make the arrest, causing a struggle in the confined area between the vehicles.
● Tapia makes active effort to break free of the officer’s grasp, moving the struggle to the area behind the police vehicle.
● The officer repeatedly tells Tapia to stop resisting.
● Tapia grabs at the officer’s neck and lapel mic area.
● Tapia makes efforts to grab/trap the officer’s head and neck.
● Tapia punches the officer several times during the struggle.
● Tapia reaches towards the officer’s right hip area, where the officer’s Taser and duty weapon are located.
● After the officer’s weapon was loose and on the ground, Tapia made efforts to obtain it.
● Tapia was on top of the officer, punching him multiple times, at the instant of the shooting.”

Assistant Police Chief Jason Benites stated, “Overall, the video clearly illustrates the dangers of police work. There are those that who will not only resist our officers from taking them into custody, but there are some who will actively assault an officer to the point where they escalate a situation to a shooting.”

After the incident, Tapia Jr. was taken to the Ventura County Medical Center, where police said he was treated for a gunshot wound. He was released from the hospital on Thursday and booked into Ventura County Jail.