Oxnard man who was hallucinating and cutting himself is fatally shot when walking towards police
Oxnard police released a nearly 17-minute video Tuesday afternoon showing the shooting of an Oxnard man by one of the agency's officers last month.
It is the agency's third such video release since mid-March, after two prior fatal shootings by Oxnard Police Department officers.
The new video contains both body-worn camera footage from the officer who fired his handgun early on April 28 and security camera footage from the apartments where the incident occurred.
Officer Manuel Garcia responded to the two-story apartment building at 235 E. Seventh St. around 12:15 a.m. to assist Oxnard firefighters with an "uncooperative subject."
The man, later identified as 24-year-old Michael Owens, needed medical attention and had apparently been hallucinating, police said about the original call.
The department's video, which included subtitles and narratives from police officials, also included audio from several 911 calls, including a call from Owens.
Owens can be heard telling the dispatcher: "Hi, yeah, I'm Michael Owens. ...I'm not doing too good right now, and I need 911 right here...at the Rescue Mission."
Owens was referring to the nearby Ventura County Rescue Mission. Oxnard police have said the apartment building is apparently associated with the nonprofit, which serves the homeless population.
Owens had been a tenant in the apartment building but was not a tenant that night, said Oxnard police Cmdr. Alex Arnett.
During Owens' 911 call, when he was asked if he needed a paramedic or the police, Owens told the dispatcher he needed a paramedic. His call was then apparently transferred.
Garcia's body-worn camera video shows the officer's chest-level view as he arrives at the scene and talks to city fire personnel assembled along a walkway on the lower level of the building. Firefighters tell the officer Owens had barricaded himself in an upstairs room, later identified as a communal bathroom, that can't be locked from the inside.
While Garcia was still on the lower level talking to firefighters, Owens, shirtless, can be seen coming out of the bathroom. The officer can be heard calling to him: "Hey, listen to me, man. Can they help you out?"
"No," Owens replies, before returning to the bathroom.
A firefighter can be heard telling the officer Owens was up there and "started getting aggressive," and had been cutting himself on his left wrist with a knife.
Garcia walks up the stairwell. "Hey, bud? Hey, bud," he calls out. The bathroom was about 45 feet down the walkway from Garcia's position.
"Michael, can you come out please," the officer calls, then told him: "Come over here, please? Sit down so we can help you out."
Owens, shirtless, can be seen exiting the bathroom, then returning, before he comes back out holding a knife. A photo of the weapon included in the video indicates the blade was about 6 inches.
The officer's body camera video shows Owens walk toward him as Garcia calls out: "Just sit down. Just don't bring anything with you."
As Owens continues to advance, the officer's video shows his shadow on the wall, his gun raised, as he continues to give commands. "Do not reach for that knife!" he calls.
As Owens gets close, about seven shots can be heard. Owens falls to the walkway and can be heard screaming in pain.
Owens then stands up again and apparently grabs at Garcia. The caption video shows him saying: Give me the gun! You little b----!" His left arm, shown reaching for the officer, is bloodied. Two more shots are heard before the officer's video footage ends.
Video from the apartment building's security camera showed a bird's eye view of the interaction. In it, Garcia can be seen standing at the top of the stairwell in a relaxed posture as he initially addresses Owens.
After Garcia's initial gunfire, the apartment security video shows Garcia moving backward at the top of the stairs as Owens rises and reaches for the officer's gun.
The footage also appears to show Owens grab the officer, with the two engaging in a short physical struggle before Garcia fires the shots that end the encounter.
Owens was treated at the scene and taken by ambulance to Ventura County Medical Center. He died two days later from his injuries.