BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — A newly released video by the Bakersfield Police Department shows the moment a man was shot by officers after police say he stabbed multiple people at a market in southeast Bakersfield. 23ABC's Tori Cooper breaks down the video and why officials said they chose to release it.
Bakersfield Police said the goal of releasing the video was to help enhance transparency between the police department and the community going forward. BPD said sometimes you have to see it to believe it for yourself before forming any conclusions.
The newly released video showed why police responded to Watts Drive and Lotus Lane on Monday, August 17th.
In the video, you can see 65-year-old Everardo Gonzalez Santana in a white t-shirt charging at bystanders sitting outside the Watts Market with a knife. But what police say you don't see in the video was 64-year-old Karen Johns who was attacked first by Gonzalez while she was in the process of getting out of her car.
Family of Johns told 23ABC News that she didn't know Gonzalez.
"A random act of violence that would have continued if had not been for the BPD stopping him where he was," said Elaine Bradley, Johns' sister.
Johns and a man who was also stabbed while sitting outside of the market were both rushed to the hospital and both survived. But moments later police say Gonzalez ran off, car-jacked, and stabbed a third person who also survived. Gonzalez stole the third victim's white Chevrolet Malibu, was involved in a hit and run shortly after, then he abandoned the Chevy at Brundage and T Street.
That's when a witness started filming a video from their car capturing the stolen Chevy and Gonzalez walking swiftly away from the car on the sidewalk with no shoes on. The video then shows Gonzalez charging at the witness before they drove off.
BPD said a detective of 14 years, Jeffrey Martin and an officer of seven months, Aaron Waddle who was wearing a body camera, were both flagged down at P Street when Gonzalez entered a business yard. That's when Waddle was faced with a life and death decision, shooting Gonzalez who is seen on the video charging at him with a knife.
This is the first time the department has released bodycam footage of a fatal officer-involved shooting.
Police said they released the video in an effort to increase transparency between the community and police, and they plan to continue this communication going forward. But they would not comment on a possible motive or whether Gonzalez had a criminal history or a history of mental illness. Detectives said they are still investigating to see if there was any relationship between Gonzalez and the victims.
Police say Detective Martin was also involved in an officer-involved shooting back in 2014 that was not fatal.
BPD said from now on anytime there is an officer-involved shooting, as long as it's possible to piece it together, they will release the body camera footage to the community within at least 30 days.
This is a procedure they want to implement and some situations may present new challenges but they really want to enhance the trust in the community and they say this is the first step.
Below is the full video released by the Bakersfield Police Department. Warning: Content May Be Disturbing to Some Viewers.