|Jose Guerena was shot up to 60 times by five police officers. There was nothing illegal in the house.|
A United States Marine who died in a flurry of bullets in a botched drug raid near Tucson, Arizona, never fired on the SWAT team that stormed his house, according to a new report from the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.
The revelation added to national outrage over the death of Jose Guerena, who died May 5 after a SWAT team descended on his home with a search warrant, reports Chuck Conder at CNN. Guerena’s home was 0one of four that police claimed were “associated with a drug smuggling operation” in the area.
A video released Thursday by the sheriff’s department showed the SWAT team showing up with sirens on, banging on the front door, kicking the door in, and opening fire upon entering the home.
Officers fired more than 70 shots, according to the investigation. Deputies claimed they opened fire after Guerena, 26, “gestered at them” with a semiautomatic AR-15 rifle.
Some of the officers claimed they believed that Guerena fired on them, but the investigation showed no shots were fired from the weapon and it was never taken off the safety position.
Initial news reports indicated that Guerena had been struck by more than 60 bullets. According to CNN, an initial report from the medical examiner details 22 bullet wounds.
A lawyer representing the deputies defended their actions in slaughtering Guerena.
“If you are faced with that type of deadly threat, you’re allowed to respond,” he said.
Guerena served in Iraq and was discharged from the Marines five years sago. He was working for a Tucson area mining company.
A search of the home after the shooting revealed nothing illegal.
The five deputies who shot Guerena remain on active, paid duty. No criminal charges have been filed. There hasn’t even been any disciplinary action.