PHOENIX — Phoenix police have released body camera footage of an officer-involved shooting that led to the death of James Garcia.
Garcia, 28, was shot and killed by officers while sitting in his car in a friend’s driveway on July 4.
Police released a portion of the body camera footage earlier this month, but did not yet release the full video until Monday, following demands from the community.
One witness recorded a video showing the moments leading up to the shooting, and others on the scene claimed Garcia was unarmed. Phoenix police say Garcia did point a gun at officers, and the department released a short video showing one officer pulling a gun from the car to counter the witness reports.
During the newly released video, published online by the department, Garcia is seen talking with officers while sitting in the driver’s seat of his vehicle.
He tells the officer multiple names, also referencing what appears to be misdemeanor warrants, and refuses to exit the vehicle despite multiple commands.
The incident escalates when he rolls up his window and officers say Garcia is seen with a gun. They repeatedly tell him to drop the weapon and threaten to fire their weapons if he moves the gun.
An officer on the other side of the car knocks out a passenger window and nearly immediately, the officer at Garcia’s window fires his weapon multiple times. A second officer also fires his weapon.
The officers spoke to police investigators after the shooting, explaining why they fired their weapons.
"When he [another officer] broke the window, his [Garcia's] movement completely changed," explained Officer Noel Trevino. "I see the rise of an arm, and then I’m not too sure who shot first me or my partner."
"He [Garcia] raised his gun up, and he saw me flinch and look over," Officer Gregory Wilson said. "I was afraid that he was either going to shoot the officer who just broke the window and didn’t have a gun in his hand, or he’s going to lean over and shoot me."
The gun was removed from Garcia’s lap so officials could safely provide medical attention. Garcia did not survive his injuries.
Police identified Garcia through fingerprints, and say the names he provided officers were not his real names. Police say he had misdemeanor and felony warrants for his arrest.
Garcia reportedly recently came into possession of the firearm while being a prohibited possessor.