Man Was Lying Wounded on Ground When Cops Killed Him

Nicholas Iovino | Courthouse News Service

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – A new lawsuit claims San Francisco police officers abandoned their training when they shot and killed an immigrant “within 30 seconds of confronting him” in April.

Luis Demetrio Gongora Pat, a Mexican immigrant of Mayan descent, was “peacefully sitting against a wall” on the 400 block of Shotwell Street on April 7 when two officers fired on him with bean bag rounds and live ammunition, his wife and children say in their Oct. 7 federal lawsuit.

“The onslaught left him riddled with bullets in his forehead, back, right arm and chest while leaving his wife a widow and his three kids fatherless,” his wife, daughter and two sons say.

Police say Gongora lunged at Officers Michael Mellone and Nate Seger with a 13-inch kitchen knife, but the family says that version is contradicted by eyewitnesses, video and physical evidence.

Entry wounds in Gongora’s back and right side “indicate he was not facing the officers when they opened fire” and surveillance video shows the officers “pointing their guns down toward the ground as they repeatedly fired their guns,” according to the 13-page lawsuit.

The San Francisco City Attorney’s Office said it has eyewitnesses who say that Gongora lunged at the officers with a knife before he was shot.

“We also now know that Gongora was high on methamphetamine at the time of the incident and had a long criminal history,” a City Attorney’s Office spokeswoman said in an email. “Gongora posed an immediate and deadly threat, and our officers’ use of lethal force was necessary and legally justified.”

An autopsy released on Sept. 29 found that Gongora had been shot six times – in his forehead, back of his left shoulder, upper right back, chest and twice in his right forearm. The autopsy also found Gongora had intoxicating levels of methamphetamine, and smaller amounts of THC and caffeine, in his bloodstream.

Former Police Chief Greg Suhr, who resigned in May after a different police shooting, described the incident that led to Gongora’s death at a Police Commission meeting in April.

Suhr said officers ordered Gongora to drop the knife in English and Spanish, but he refused to comply.

The chief acknowledged that witnesses offered differing views on whether Gongora had lunged at officers with the knife before he was shot.

During the Police Commission meeting in April, at least two commissioners asked why the officers did not employ the de-escalation tactics they were trained to use before firing their weapons.

“How do we square the ultimate outcome with the investment we’ve made in training?” Police Commission President Suzy Loftus asked on April 13.

A surveillance video released one day after the incident shows the officers approaching Gongora on the street, but the shooting takes place off camera.

Pages: 1 2

If you haven't already, be sure to like our Filming Cops Page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Please visit our sister site Smokers ONLY

Sign Up To Receive Your Free E-Book
‘Advanced Strategies On Filming Police’

About author

You might also like

  • tom browne

    he was shot and dying and was lunging from 20 ft away with a knife at the same time police emptied their gun and he emptied his knife. never bring a knife to a gunfight while you’re homeless and asleep.

    • Lillianjnance3

      Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !da293f:
      On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
      ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash583TopScanGetPay$97Hour ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★::::::!da293f:….,……