Officials release videos of Waukegan police officer fatally shooting motorist
As the car drives toward the officer, video footage shows him placing a hand on the hood, walking backward and yelling, “Motherf——r,” while firing three shots into the car. The Lake County state’s attorney’s office ruled the shooting justified.
Authorities released videos Wednesday of a Waukegan police officer fatally shooting a man who tried to hit him with a vehicle last year in the north suburb.
A cellphone video and two police body camera videos were released on the city of Waukegan’s website, showing the officer fatally shooting Asuncion J. Gomez-Guerrero on Feb. 3, 2019, in the 3500 block of Windhaven Drive.
The body camera videos — one from the officer who fired the shots and the other from another responding officer who witnesses the shooting — show the first officer standing in front of the car Gomez-Guerrero was driving while shouting, “Turn it off! Turn it off!”
As the car drives forward toward the officer, the videos show him placing a hand on the hood, walking backward and yelling, “Motherf——r,” while firing three shots into the car through the windshield.
The videos then show the car driving away down the block while the officers return to their squad cars to pursue it. The cellphone video depicts the incident from a distance and shows the car driving toward the officer before gunshots ring out.
The Lake County state’s attorney’s office ruled the shooting justified in August after reviewing an Illinois State Police investigation into the case.
Officers were called about 2:30 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday for reports of an “unknown problem” at a home on Windhaven Drive, prosecutors and Waukegan police said at the time. A responding officer arrived to find Gomez-Guerrero apparently trying to leave in a gray Honda with an 18-year-old woman in the passenger seat.
The officer parked his marked squad car and approached the Honda on foot, ordering Gomez-Guerrero to stop, the state’s attorney’s office said. Gomez-Guerrero put the car into reverse, prompting the officer to put his hand on the hood and tell him to turn the car off. Gomez-Guerrero instead put the car in drive and turned the wheel toward the officer.
The car moved forward and the front bumper hit the officer’s left leg, prosecutors said. The officer backed up, drew his gun and fired three shots through the windshield when Gomez-Guerrero ignored orders to stop and continued to drive forward.
The Honda continued to drive away until it hit a telephone pole a block away, police said.
Gomez-Guerrero, 35, was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to the Lake County coroner’s office. An autopsy found he died of gunshot wounds.
Further investigation revealed he had a blood alcohol level of 0.182 and traces of THC in his system, prosecutors said.
The 18-year-old woman who was a passenger in the vehicle suffered minor injuries in the crash and was also taken to a hospital, police said.