Wanted suspect shot and killed by officer during foot chase

Justin Aguilar-Tofte was fatally shot by police when he picked up his pistol after officers told him not to, investigators said in a report released late Thursday.

The Longview man had been sought on a warrant when he fled from police the afternoon of Oct. 2. The fatal chase, in the area of Cypress Street and 14th Avenue, was captured by several area surveillance cameras and shown in a video released by the Lower Columbia Major Crimes Team with a press statement about the shooting. The Longview Police Department does not have body cameras or vehicle cameras.

The video from a business security camera shows two officers running after Aguilar-Tofte in an alley off 14th Avenue. guilar-Tofte falls to the pavement in front of them, and an object that police later identified as a loaded semiautomatic handgun slides from his pocket, landing perhaps six feet away.

With two officers aiming their handguns at him from about 10 feet away, Aguilar-Tofte can be seen scrambling to his feet, then falling again near the gun. At that point, he is shot by one of the officers. The video shows the wounded man then get up and run away, with police in pursuit. No further shots were fired, police said.

At no time during the foot chase did Aguilar-Tofte point his weapon at officers, or fire the .380 caliber Smith and Wesson semiautomatic pistol, according to the report.

In the account released Thursday night by the major crimes team, Aguilar-Tofte, 33, ignored Longview Detective Jordan Sanders’ orders to stay on the ground when and “a semiautomatic pistol slid away from his person in the alley.” The report said Sanders told Aguilar-Tofte to put his hands behind his back and “Tofte immediately dove for the pistol and picked it up from the ground.”

The press release said Sanders was in fear for his life and the safety of Detective Matt Hartley, who was with him, so he “fired three shots, with one hitting Tofte” in the right underarm area. The other two shots struck unoccupied vehicles in an adjacent car dealership lot, the press release said. According to the press release, the shots were fired around 1:27 p.m.

After he was shot, Aguilar-Tofte continued to flee, according to the press release. Officers caught up with him about a minute and a half later.

They called for an ambulance for the third time, nine seconds after detaining Aguilar-Tofte, and applied a chest seal to the wound, the press release said. The ambulance arrived at the scene about five minutes after the shots were fired, just before 1:32 p.m.

Medics treated Aguilar-Tofte at the scene for about 20 minutes before bringing him to St. John PeaceHealth Medical Center at around 1:51 p.m., “where he later succumbed to his injury,” the press release said.


By: Juggernaut (20515.40)

Tags: Law Enforcement, Shooting

Location: Washington