Body-worn camera video shows SDPD officers shoot man, 70, who had a replica gun

Two San Diego police officers opened fire on a 70-year-old man earlier this year in an Otay Mesa homeless encampment at almost the exact moment he tossed what appeared to be a gun to the ground, according to body-worn camera footage released Wednesday.

Investigators later determined the gun, which had the appearance of a pistol, was a replica firearm, according to San Diego police homicide Lt. Andra Brown.

Body camera footage released Wednesday by the Police Department showed two officers shooting Carlos Tomas Soto at close range just after he pulled the replica gun from his pocket and tossed it to the ground in the predawn darkness of Feb. 27.

Soto was shot twice and survived.

San Diego police previously identified the involved officers as Jeremy Huff, who has been with the department for eight years, and Filip Perry, who at the time had been with the department for nine months. Both work in the neighborhood policing division.

The video was released by the department under Assembly Bill 748, a police transparency law that went into effect in July. The bill requires police agencies statewide to release body-worn camera and other video and audio recordings of shootings and serious uses of force within 45 days, unless doing so would interfere with an ongoing investigation.

The shooting happened about 6 a.m. in the entryway of a large makeshift shelter as officers were clearing out an encampment at Otay Valley Regional Park, near Beyer Way and Palm Avenue.

While searching the shelter, “officers noticed motion in one of the rooms and repeatedly ordered Carlos Soto to exit the structure,” police Chief Nisleit said in a video message released with the body-worn camera footage.

Video from Huff’s body-worn camera shows Soto appearing to ignore officers for about two minutes as they begin tearing down portions of the structure around him and ordering him to come out. As he makes his way, barefoot, toward the shelter’s exit, he appears to stoop toward the ground.

“Drop the gun right now, man!” Huff yells as Soto straightens up, according to the body-worn camera footage. “Get on the (expletive) ground! Get on the ground or I’ll (expletive) shoot right now!”

The footage shows Soto pulling an item from a jacket pocket and dropping it as Huff and Perry continue to yell at him to get on the ground.

Then Soto reaches in a pocket again and tosses the replica gun on the ground between him and the officers, according to the video. Almost simultaneously, Huff and Perry open fire more than half a dozen times.

Police handcuffed Soto and then began treating him for the two gunshot wounds until medics arrived, according to police.

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By: ThisIsButter (42247.20)

Tags: Officer shot man, Gun fire, Arrest