Update on Martinez officer-involved shooting


September 28, 2023


The Martinez Police Department is releasing audio and video, including body-worn camera footage, from the officer-involved shooting that occurred on August 18, 2023, at 4808 Sunrise Drive in Martinez.

The material being released may be disturbing and graphic. Viewer discretion is advised. The audio and video contain redactions pursuant to the law. The full length of the body-worn camera footage is not being released currently due to the active criminal and administrative investigations regarding the incident.

At about 3:27 am, the Martinez Police Department received a report of a video alarm at Velvet, a cannabis dispensary, located at 4808 Sunrise Drive. The caller was monitoring a live video feed from the business and said several individuals were attempting to break-in.

Telephone Calls to Dispatch & Police Radio Traffic:

  1. Alarm company call to Martinez PD Dispatch
  2. Velvet employee call to Martinez PD Dispatch
  3. Radio Traffic

Velvet Security Camera Footage:

  1. Velvet Exterior Entrance Camera
  2. Velvet Parking Lot 1
  3. Velvet Parking Lot 2
  4. Velvet Exterior Sales Floor Exit

Body Worn Camera:

  1. Officer Bennett BWC
  2. Officer Mendez BWC
  3. Officer Kahue BWC

The first 30 seconds of each body worn camera video is a pre-event buffer and does not have audio. The pre-event buffer captures 30 seconds of video (without audio) before the camera is activated. Officer Tirona’s BWC was not activated until approximately 5 minutes after the shooting and is not included in this release.

The blue Infiniti involved in this incident had been reported stolen from the City of Livermore on August 12, 2023. A loaded Glock 10mm handgun was located in the front passenger’s area of the vehicle. That gun was purchased in the State of Arizona on January 20, 2023, and is linked to a shooting that occurred on April 27, 2023, in Oakland, Ca.

The white Toyota C-HR was also a reported stolen vehicle and recovered in Oakland after fleeing from Velvet. The vehicle was originally taken after a victim was reportedly robbed at knife point and the keys to the car taken. A third vehicle involved, that had also been reported stolen, was abandoned on Sunrise Drive.

The Department of Justice, pursuant to Assembly Bill 1506, is conducting an independent investigation into the use of force by each officer in this incident. At the conclusion of their investigation, DOJ will provide a public report containing their determinations regarding the lawfulness of the use of force as well as their findings and recommendations regarding the policies and practices of the Martinez Police Department.

The Martinez Police Department initiated a separate administrative investigation into this incident. The purpose of this investigation is to determine whether the officers’ actions complied with department policies and procedures. An outside firm is conducting this investigation.

Pursuant to the Department of Justice protocols, the local agency is responsible for the investigation of collateral crimes, including those that may have been committed by persons that resulted in the call for service of the attempted burglary at Velvet. The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office, Bureau of Investigations, has supported the Martinez Police Department in this investigation. When this investigation is complete, it will be referred to the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office for charging consideration.

These investigations will take time, but it is critical they are able to accomplish their respective tasks carefully, comprehensively, and independently, based on facts and the evidence.

Here is a link to a video statement from Mayor Brianne Zorn regarding the release of body-worn camera footage: https://vimeo.com/869376995/ac30187cf6?share=copy

We have no further information to release at this time.

Chief of Police

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