Bodycam shows Pierce County Deputy shoots car thief suspect in the back when fleeing on a motorcycle

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Body camera footage from Pierce County deputies shows a suspected car thief trying to avoid arrest by driving a motorcycle through his neighbors’ field, when one deputy opens fire, striking the man in the back.

Moments earlier, a sergeant ordered commands saying: "Stop, or I’ll shoot," before ultimately deciding not to take the shot.

The second deputy to arrive put his car into park, and within a matter of seconds, fired three shots, dropping the suspect from the motorcycle—paralyzing the man.

The shooting, which took place on May 12, 2022, was deemed "justified and lawful," following a Pierce County Force Investigative Team (PCFIT) investigation and a review by the county’s prosecuting attorney.

Bryan Galeana Mendoza, the man who was shot, is now looking to take the county to civil court. His attorney tells FOX 13 News he also wants the attorney general’s office to launch its own independent review.

Galeana Mendoza was trying to avoid arrest, driving a stolen motorcycle off-road away from investigators, when Deputy Brian Johnson opened fire.

Deputy Johnson was not the first to arrive. Sergeant Ed Roberts was already chasing Galeana Mendoza; the suspect jumped out of the stolen BMW while it was still rolling to a stop, before he jumped onto his motorcycle parked in front of his home and began to drive away.

Sgt. Roberts can be heard shouting commands.

"Stop, or I’ll shoot you," Sgt. Roberts calls out, as Galeana Mendoza continues to move away from Roberts and toward a neighbor’s field.

Deputy Johnson is the second to arrive. His body-worn camera, obtained through public record requests, shows him throw his cruiser into park, open his door, get into a shooting stance, and fire three rounds at Galeana Mendoza in eight seconds. The final shot hit Galeana Mendoza in the spine, knocking him to the ground, and doctors later said it paralyzed him.

What is unclear is whether Deputy Johnson ever heard Sgt. Roberts yelling at him, repeatedly saying "don’t" in an effort to stop Johnson from taking the shot.

In a report filed by the lead PCFIT investigators, Sgt. Roberts explained that he was concerned that deputies remained on the main road in the direction where Johnson may have been firing – he did admit that Johnson may have had a different viewpoint.

Sgt. Roberts, however, appears to have stopped short of calling the shots justified. Instead, the report indicates "his belief that deadly force may have been warranted."

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ThisIsButter1 (8924.00)

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