LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA — More than a year after the death of Noel Aguilar, video obtained by a law firm representing his family shows two officers shooting him dead from the back when he is on the ground.
The law firm of Guizar, Henderson & Carrazco, which represents Aguilar's fiancee and mother, released the footage on Friday. The attorneys say it was taken by a witness who filmed the scene from his window and recently gave it to them anonymously. They gave the recording to both the district attorney and the FBI and are demanding that the case be reopened and the deputies involved be criminally prosecuted.
The incident happened on May 26, 2014. Two Los Angeles County deputies tried to pull over Noel Aguilar for riding a bicycle while wearing headphones near Long Beach Boulevard and 69th Way. Aguilar allegedly did not stop but fled, first on his bike then on foot.
The deputies chased him and eventually caught up with him in a driveway next to an apartment complex. They pushed him to the ground, took what they said was a loaded handgun he had on him and tried to handcuff him.
Aguilar resisted. During the ensuing struggle, one of the deputies, Albert Murad, fired his gun and accidentally hit his partner. The partner, Jose Ruiz, did not seem to realize it was Murad who fired the gun. Aguilar can be heard saying, "I didn't shoot nobody," to no avail.
Murad fired a second shot, and Ruiz, who was bleeding from his stomach, fired three rapid shots in Aguilar's back, killing him. Near the end of the video Aguilar can be heard saying, "I'm dying."
"It's clearly an execution. It's murder," attorney Humberto Guizar was quoted as saying by the Long Beach Press-Telegram.
Aguilar's family has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the sheriff's department.
The officers are still on field duty.