Body cam released of the shooting that killed Detective Benedetti in San Luis Obispo from May 2021
0:00 - Intro/Storytelling
5:09 - Body cam
The San Luis Obispo Police Department released video surveillance of the May 10, 2021 officer-involved shooting that killed one officer and seriously wounded another.
"While the material in the video is deeply disturbing, in the interest of transparency and in response to Public Records Act requests, we hope this release of information provides greater insight into what happened that terrible day," remarked the department.
The video, narrated by San Luis Obispo Police Chief Rick Scott, takes viewers through the findings of the investigation and shows graphic content on the day of the shooting from an officer's body camera footage.
On May 10, 2021, six SLOPD officers were serving a search warrant to Edward Giron at his apartment on Camellia Court, off Margarita Avenue near South Higuera Street in San Luis Obispo.
This search warrant followed an ongoing investigation of four burglaries in surrounding businesses, which all seemed to point to Giron – as described in the video.
During a background check of Giron, detectives found that he had multiple welfare checks requested by a co-worker and a relative for concerns of a possible firearm, as well as characteristics of paranoia and signs that he potentially wanted to harm officers.
"After conducting the background check and just hours after the fourth burglary, detectives went to Giron's address on Camellia Court and found the same light-ed GMC Envoy (pictured below to the right) in each of the previous burglaries," said Scott.
Detectives saw some of the items reported stolen through the burglaries in plain view through the windows of this GMC, so they conducted surveillance of Giron's apartment throughout the day.
That same afternoon, a judge authorized a search warrant. Detectives attempted to call Giron twice on the phone, but both calls went unanswered, and they never saw Giron outside of his apartment.
SLOPD said detectives then knocked on the apartment door with no response, and attempted to use a key provided by the property manager, but it did not work.
The detectives continued to seek alternatives to making a forced entry.
In the video, you can see and hear Detective Luca Benedetti knocking and saying multiple times "Edward it's the police department, open the door," but to no avail. Officers then had to use a ramming device to open the apartment door, as seen below.
As the door broke open, the officers pointed their firearms inside, and Benedetti positioned himself outside the door frame. Then, gunfire is heard from inside as Giron shot at Benedetti.
The department blocked the sight of Benedetti when he is fatally shot, but the video exposed everything around him during and after that moment.
The surrounding officers quickly ran down the stairs to safety as Giron fired more shots, and the officer behind the body-cam footage radioed to the department "Shots fired, shots fired, he's got a gun, he's shooting at us, all units, all units."
Scott said Giron took Benedetti's rifle from his body and continued shooting at the officers from his elevated position outside his apartment.
During the gunfire, Giron hit and severely wounded Detective Steve Orozsco with a shot to his head and his arm – injuries which Scott said Orozsco continues to suffer permanent and debilitating injuries from.
Officers were able to return gunfire at Giron, hitting him multiple times, causing him to retreat back into his apartment.
In the video, you can hear the officer behind the camera speaking with Orozco about his injuries and asking if he was okay, and you can see Orozco on the right side of the screen.
Seconds later, you can hear the sound of the selinflicted gunshot coming from inside Giron's apartment when Giron used Benedetti's rifle to take his own life.
Scott then narrated through the aftermath of the rescue team arriving to find Benedetti's body outside Giron's doorway, and officers entering the apartment for the first time to see Giron dead from the selinflicted gunshot to his head.
An officer transported Orozco to a trauma center for life-saving care. "We're very thankful that detective Orozco this deadly encounter," said Scott.
The department said police served the burglary search warrant and located additional items of stolen property inside Giron's apartment from the burglaries.
"Any use of force is a matter we take very seriously, especially when it involves the loss of a life," said Scott. "We will never forget detective Benedetti and his family, and we will faithfully honor detective Benedetti and detective Orozco and all of our team members who bravely serve the department, and a grateful community."