San Diego, CA – Police released helicopter and bodycam footage of a San Diego officer blasting a hostage taker with his shotgun to rescue a victim (video below).
Police said that Juan Carlos Fernandez, 22, opened fire on several members of his former wife’s family in the courtyard of their apartment building in City Heights on Nov. 13, 2016.
Officers responded to a call for a domestic disturbance at about 9:15 p.m., after two men got into a fistfight, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Witnesses told police that an enraged Fernandez went to his car and got a weapon, and then chased the man he had just fought with down the street with his gun.
Afterwards, he returned to the apartment complex and shot four people – his former wife, her parents, and her grandfather – and then grabbed his ex-wife by the hair and dragged her toward the street.
A police helicopter with night vision arrived above the scene first, and those pilots were able to inform the patrol officers of what was happening before they arrived.
Responding officers found Fernandez holding his wounded ex-wife in a headlock, as he dragged her towards his car, KSWB reported.
Patrol officers repeatedly commanded Fernandez to let go of his hostage, and get on the ground, but he ignored them, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
A 12-year-veteran of the police force took one shot at Fernandez with a shotgun, and killed him.
In the videos, Fernandez can be seen dragging his hostage to the ground with him as he fell. But she quickly extricated herself from his fallen form, and ran to the officers.
“The officers were faced with a conflict situation with an armed suspect who had already shot multiple victims and who had taken a victim hostage,” San Diego Police Captain Brain Ahearn said. “We do train for this, and we hope for a peaceful resolution. But there are times when the officers are left with no choice but to use deadly force. This was one of those occasions.”
Of the four family members Fernandez shot during his spree, only his former wife survived.
Watch video of the police officer saving the hostage with one shot below: