Protesters have taken to the streets of Phoenix after police shot and killed a teenager inside his vehicle parked on his driveway on Saturday. The teen was identified as 19-year-old James Garcia.
Video footage of the shooting, which is being widely circulated on social media with the hashtag #JusticeForJames, shows four Phoenix Police Department officers surrounding a vehicle with guns pointed at Garcia who appears to be seated on the driver's seat as onlookers ask the officer to put their guns down.
"Stop f-----g moving. I will f---ing shoot you," one of the officers says to Garcia. Another officer on the other side of the vehicle then appears to strike the car's window with a baton before multiple shots ring out.
"That's f----d up. What the fâk man?" the individual recording the video can be heard saying repeatedly. "He's dead man. What are you guys doing," the bystander adds as officers continue to point their weapons at Garcia. "They shot him in the face 18 times," the onlooker explains to another individual.
Watch the video below (The footage is GRAPHIC. Viewer discretion is advised)
Garcia Had a Gun and Refused to Exit Vehicle, Say Police
According to a statement issued by the police, the man was fatally shot by officers after responding to a call about an aggravated assault. The caller said a man who tried to kill him last week came back with a knife, threatening to hurt him again.
The caller gave police the location of the home where he said the suspect was located. When officers arrived at the residence, they found a man sitting in the car parked in the driveway. According to Phoenix police, officers told the man to exit the vehicle but he refused and instead armed himself with a handgun.
"Officers instructed the man to drop the handgun. He did not drop the gun but began to lift it. One officer saw the gun pointed at a fellow officer and broke the passenger window trying to distract the suspect. Two other officers fired their weapons into the vehicle at the man," the statement read.
The suspect was taken to the hospital, where he died from his injuries. Police confirmed no officers were injured in the shooting, and said both officers were wearing body cameras.
Officers Misidentified Garcia as The Suspect
It was later revealed that Garcia was just sleeping inside his vehicle and was not, in fact, the aggravated assault suspect the police were looking for. The police mistakenly identified him as the suspect after finding him at the reported location.
A woman claiming to be Garcia's sister, Jacqueline Fernandez, also confirmed the same in a social media comment. "They thought he was someone else. After they killed my brother they found the suspect they were looking for had nothing to do with my brother," she wrote, before adding that she and her mother are planning to take legal action against the Phoenix Police Department.