Santa Clara DA clear undercover officer for shooting robbery suspect

Bay Area

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) – A San Jose District Attorneys Office report has declared that an undercover police officer who shot a wanted armed suspect acted lawfully.

According to the report, Hans Jorgenson and Anthony Baza, two undercover officers in “plain clothes,” were investigating 31-year-old Demetrius Stanley, an armed robbery and assault suspect from March, and were figuring out how to safely arrest him on the night of May 31.

Jorgenson was walking on foot on Tofts Drive when Stanley came out of his house and began walking towards the officer while holding a handgun, police said.

The officer heard the sound of a handgun being racked and loaded, then ran away from Stanley.

Stanley stopped and tucked the firearm into his shorts, and walked back towards his house. As he walked back, he passed an unmarked vehicle where Baza, the second plain-clothes officer, was inside.

Stanley originally walked past the unmarked car with his gun tucked in his shorts. He then walked back to the unmarked car and pulled out his gun and opened the driver’s side door.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office says Baza identified himself and fired four times, fatally.

Baza later told investigators: “I thought he was going to shoot me.”

The handgun recovered at the scene wielded by Stanley on the night of the shooting was a 9mm unregistered ghost gun with an illegal high capacity extended magazine.

“As soon as Stanley opened the car door, Officer Baza was staring down the barrel of a loaded semiautomatic handgun, held by a man who threatened a minor with a firearm just months earlier and chased off a fellow officer with a loaded handgun,” said Prosecutor Robert Baker, who authorized the report. “In that split second, Officer Baza had no other reasonable choice than to shoot Stanley to save his own life.” 

The undercover officers were not wearing body cameras.

The Medical Examiner’s Office determined that Stanley was intoxicated with twice the legal blood-alcohol limit for driving.

The officers were investigating a March 12 incident where Stanley allegedly followed a 16-year-old and pulled a gun on them when the teen was exiting their vehicle.

The teen, who was returning an airsoft rifle to a friend, dropped the toy and ran away.

Stanley grabbed the airsoft rifle and drove away.

On May 20, the District Attorney charged Stanley for the March 12 robbery.

The District Attorney’s Office investigates all fatal law enforcement encounters to determine if the lethal force was legal. By law, officers are allowed to use deadly force when they or others are faced with imminent danger.

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