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ECM records document 9 of the 12 ECPD shootings in the past decade

By Miriam Raftery

October 9, 2016 (El Cajon)—Yesterday,  the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that El Cajon Police Department had 12 officer-involved shootings in the past 10 years, including five fatal shootings.  According to the U-T,  El Cajon had the highest rate of shooting per 100,000 people of any law enforcement agency in the county.

The U-T story mentioned only two shootings specifically: the recent fatal shooting of Alfred Olango, an African refugee reportedly having a mental health crisis who pointed a vaping device resembling a gun at an officer, and Kelsey Hauser, a white female passenger fatally shot in January 2016 following a high-speed chase of a stolen vehicle that had rammed a police car.

East County Magazine searched our records, which date back to late 2008 when we began publishing,  and found details on a total of nine of the 12 shootings.  At least four of those were fatal, including the two listed above.

Below  are details on seven additional shootings.  Details were not provided  on races of the suspects or officers.   

In May 2015, ECM reported that  Jose Albert Garcia, who tried to abduct his children at gunpoint from his estranged wife,  prompted a standoff with police. After 90 minutes of negotiations, he reportedly aimed his gun at officers and three officers fired back, striking Garcia in the chest.    

In January 2013,  Raymond Lee Goodlow,53,was shot multiple times  after he was pulled over for illegally riding his bicycle on the sidewalk. Police and witnesses indicated the man was ordered to halt and get down on the ground, but instead reached into the waistband of his pants.  Fearing he had a gun, the officer fired. It was later determined that  Goodlow had two knives.  Some witnesses said Goodlow acted confrontationally but another witness criticized police actions.  One bullet struck his face.  After surgery he was reported in stable condition.

In September 2012, an El Cajon Police officer shot several rounds at a man armed with a crowbar who was chasing another man, then charged at the officer.  The shots struck the suspect in the stomach, leg and hand.

In July 2012,  a crisis negotiation with a woman brandishing a shotgun ended with an officer firing three rounds.  According to police the woman was on a second-story balcony. She initially reported she wanted to relinquish the gun,  but after a half hour of negotiations with a trained hostage negotiator, she went inside, then came back out and pointed the gun at officers below, who fired and killed her.

In March 2012, an El Cajon Police sergeant fired one shot at a man who reportedly refused to put down knives when asked and raised one in a threatening manner, advancing toward the officer.  Police were responding to reports of a suspicious person and believed he may have been casing homes in the neighborhood.   The suspect , Andrew Luna,23, sustained injury to his arm and was later arrested for assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer.

In April 2011,  an El Cajon Police officer shot a transient near Johnson Elementary School during a late-night investigation of complaints about teens drinking and causing a disturbance.  According to police, Two officers separated to search the area,but called for backup after overhearing a juvenile make a statement about stabbing someone.  Officers pursued two suspects. The suspect,  Victor C harles Hernandez II, jumped out from behind a planter at an officer, extending his hands as if he had a weapon.  The officer fired one shot, fearing for his safety. It traveled through the suspect’s wrist and lodged in his chest.  The suspect was found to have a blood alcohol level of .374 and evidence on scene confirmed students were drinking and “huffing” or inhaling aerosol.   The teens were later linked to graffiti and vandalism at the school and were suspected in multiple other cases.

In July 2010, an El Cajon Police motorcycle officer fatally shot Moses Jovid Muhammad,  56, who was armed with a large hunting-type knife.  The officer was responding to calls reporting a man chasing people with the knife.   When the officer spotted the suspect in a Jack-in-the-Box parking lot, he advanced on the officer, knife in hand, ignoring repeated orders to halt, according to police.  The officer fired, striking the suspect in the upper torso and leg. Officers administered first aid and the suspect was transported to a hospital, where he died.

It is worth noting that many other tense confrontations were resolved through negotiations or non-lethal force.