Jose Vaca, 29, was shot by police on December 19 after he exited his vehicle holding a rifle during a routine traffic stop.
Officers pulled Vaca over for a routine traffic stop, who got out of the car with a loaded rifle in his hands, according to police.
In an interview with 23ABC Wednesday, Vaca said he held the rifle with the barrel pointed at the ground.
The officer, who was the passenger in the patrol car, fired several shots, hitting Vaca.
Vaca suffered moderate injuries from the shooting. Bakersfield police said Vaca was shot nine times. Vaca himself said he was hit with 12 bullets, three of which went through him.
One bullet is still stuck in his leg, he said.
He said he brought the rifle out to prove a point to his friend – that police were good.
"I told her even if you had a firearm in your hand and you showed it to them, put it down and showed them you don't want to hurt nobody," Vaca said. "They'll most likely ask you to drop your weapon, step back and then get on the ground and they'll handcuff you."
The rifle was in the vehicle because Vaca was trying to sell it to someone. He had taken it to the possible buyer, didn’t sell it, and was pulled over as he was driving back home with the rifle. He originally purchased the gun from an auction.
However, the rifle was unregistered and Vaca was not supposed to have a rifle since he is a convicted felon.
The officer who fired the shots was placed on administrative leave.
Vaca will appear in court for a pre-trial Thursday. He faces multiple charges including possession of a firearm as a convicted felon and carrying a loaded firearm.