Video of Fatal Danville Police Shooting Shows Officer Firing at Slow-Moving Vehicle

A screenshot from police car dashcam video at about the time Danville Officer Andrew Hall began to fire through the front windshield of a slow-moving vehicle, fatally striking Laudemer Arboleda on Nov. 3, 2018. Laudemer had led police on a brief car chase after a resident reported a suspicious person. (Via Contra Costa County Sheriff)

Newly released video of a fatal police shooting last year in Danville shows an officer run toward and then fire into the vehicle of a man who had fled police and was steering toward a gap between two squad cars.

In a package of pre-produced video and audio segments released Thursday by the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office, which polices Danville under contract, a spokesman said the Nov. 3, 2018, shooting "occurred as a result of a suspect trying to run down an officer." Sheriff David Livingston said earlier this year that the shooting "is about a dangerous and reckless person trying to run down and murder a police officer."

Videos and other information on the case were obtained in response to a public records request filed by the California Reporting Project, a coalition of news organizations seeking records from law enforcement agencies under a new state transparency law.

Police car dashboard-camera video shows a Danville officer, identified as Deputy Andrew Hall, running toward Laudemer Arboleda's vehicle, stopping near the right front fender and then stepping backward as he began to fire.

Two police cars had nearly boxed Arboleda in, but there was a small gap between them. Body-camera video shows Hall drawing his gun as he ran toward that opening while Arboleda steered to the right, also toward the space between the patrol cars. Hall can be seen firing several rounds through the right front windshield and continuing to shoot as Arboleda drove by, shattering the front and rear passenger windows.

Civil rights attorney John Burris, who represents Arboleda's mother in a federal lawsuit against Danville and Hall, said "the claim that he was about to be run over is bogus, given what we can see."

"The officer did not have to shoot into that car," Burris said. "The car was going past him at the time, and more importantly, he had a duty to get out of the way."

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Police were responding to a call just after 11 a.m., in which a man whose identity has been withheld reported a "strange individual lurking around" property near Cottage Lane and Laurel Drive, according to audio of the call released by the Sheriff's Office along with the videos. Officers tried to pull over Arboleda, who stopped twice but then took off again when officers got out of their cars, according to previous statements on the shooting released by the Sheriff's Office.

Police then cornered Arboleda's car at the intersection of Front Street and Diablo Road, where the shooting occurred.

The police dash-camera video was played at a coroner's inquest in July, according to an attorney representing Arboleda's mother, but footage from Hall's body camera had not been made public before Thursday. The inquest jury found that Arboleda's death was caused by another person and was not accidental.

Arboleda's family said two weeks after the shooting that he had struggled with mental illness for about a year, but declined to explain further. He had been detained by Newark police for psychiatric evaluation in April 2018, according to the Sheriff's Office.

The shooting remains under investigation by the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office.

Nate Gartrell and Annie Sciacca of the Bay Area News Group contributed to this report.

This story was produced by the California Reporting Project, a coalition of 40 news organizations across the state. The project was formed to request and report on previously secret records of police misconduct and use of force in California.