Bodycam released when Raleigh officer fires off 18 rounds at suspect during domestic assault call

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Police body cam videos from an officer-involved shooting in Raleigh two months ago have been released, the City of Raleigh announced Friday morning.
The video shows a shooting that happened around 10:30 p.m. on Feb. 10 on Rock Quarry Road, after Raleigh police officers responded to a call of shots fired in the vicinity of Vardaman Street and Hightower Street.

After not finding a scene at that location, Officer M.L. Berg proceeded to the 800 block of Rock Quarry Road, where he heard multiple gunshots coming from the opposite end of the parking lot around 10:50 p.m.

In the released footage, Berg is seen drawing his gun and heard asking a witness to identify the shooter. He then approaches the man, later identified as Ranses Vacramontes Vargas, repeatedly yelling, “Drop the gun!”

Vargas is seen walking away as Berg gets closer, then abruptly changes direction to take cover behind a red pickup truck parked at the edge of the lot. Berg then shoots several times, hitting the truck before backing away and reloading his weapon while calling “Shots fired! Shots fired! Shots fired!” to dispatch.

Backup arrives, and the driver’s side door to the red truck opens as Officer B.W. Keaton gets out of his police vehicle and draws his weapon. Both Berg and Keaton yell for the people in the truck to show their hands.

Berg eventually moves closer to the red truck and notices Vargas lying beside it. He can be heard, “Suspect down on the ground!” twice before approaching the passenger side of the truck.

A woman who was also in the pickup gets out of the passenger side, telling Berg, “You shot my boyfriend!”

Berg is heard saying, “I know, I’m sorry,” as he motions for her to move away from the truck.

The captions on the released footage say Berg handcuffed Vargas at approximately 10:53 p.m. and requested emergency medical services. The video gets darker, but Berg can be seen clicking Vargas’ wrists into handcuffs while he’s laying facedown on the ground.

Berg then leaves Vargas and walks to the driver’s side, where another officer is seen trying to provide aid to Alejandro Hernandez-Herrera, who was still sitting in the driver’s seat. He was hit by gunfire when Berg shot at Vargas.

Berg then walks back around the truck to where Vargas is still lying on the ground. In the video, a gun can be seen on the ground by Vargas’ right leg. According to the video’s captions, police later recovered the gun, as well as “an additional magazine and rounds of ammunition.”

The released clip ends there.

Raleigh police later discovered two more shooting victims, Mirna Alvarez Robles and Esther Ramirez Torres. According to police, Robles was found in the driver’s seat of a gray truck parked in front of the strip mall in the 800 block of Rock Quarry Road, while Torres was found standing outside in the same area.

According to a previously released report, police later learned that Vargas shot the two women before Berg arrived. The report also indicated that Torres and Vargas were in a relationship, and Torres had been afraid Vargas would hurt her.

Vargas has been charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. He had an in-person arraignment on Monday. No next court date has been set in this case.

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