Police Line

San Jose Police Admit Officers Killed A Woman Who Was Not Shooting Suspect

KCBS Radio Afternoon News
December 27, 2018 - 4:32 pm

SAN JOSE — San Jose police officers fatally shot a woman during a car chase who was actually not a suspect in an earlier shooting as initially thought, Chief Eddie Garcia said on Thursday. 

Although cops wrongly thought that Jennifer Vasquez, 24, was the shooting suspect, they were justified in shooting her and wounding a passenger on Christmas morning, because she ignored orders to stop her car, which was allegedly stolen, Garcia said. 

The mistaken identity began when police officers responded to reports of gunfire. Vasquez's Camry allegedly matched the description of the car in the calls about gunfire and cops determined that it was stolen. 

Vasquez allegedly fled, starting a high-speed chase. According to police, she tried to ram a patrol car, prompting four officers to fire a volley of bullets that killed Vasquez and injured the passenger. 

“Yes, they were not the individuals that were responsible for the [earlier> shooting. But they were individuals in a stolen vehicle,” said Garcia, “they were individuals that took police on a high-speed pursuit.”

Given Vasquez's actions, Garcia said it was reasonable for officers to assume that their lives were in danger.

Vasquez’s family feels differently.

They have issued a list of demands, including a request for more information surrounding the circumstances of Vasquez’s violent death.

Her relatives said that they do not believe the use of force was justified, and want an independent investigation and have called for the Santa Clara County district attorney to press charges against the officers who shot her. 

Reported by Keith Menconi.

Written by Jordan Bowen.