The Pleasanton Police Department on Thursday provided more details about the fatal encounter that occurred one week earlier, including releasing composite video from the hours-long standoff that ended with a domestic violence suspect being shot and killed after running at officers with a knife in hand.
Police identified the decedent as 33-year-old San Jose resident Cody Chavez. He allegedly holed up in his girlfriend's apartment for hours on Feb. 17 after she reported him for domestic violence earlier that day.
"We gave him every opportunity to peacefully surrender, and unfortunately he decided to charge at officers with a knife," PPD Lt. Erik Silacci told the Weekly in an interview Thursday. "It was tragic. I know it affects the entire community, and obviously this was an apartment complex, neighbors."
The fatal shooting remains under investigation, separately, by Pleasanton PD and the Alameda County District Attorney's Office.
Silacci confirmed the Pleasanton police officers who fired the lethal bullets were Brian Jewell, who has been on the force for four years, and Mario Guillermo, a seven-year veteran. Two other officers on scene discharged non-lethal rounds toward Chavez as well.
Both Guillermo and Jewell have been placed on paid administrative leave at this point in the investigation, under department protocol, according to Silacci. "We anticipate them returning to work soon," the lieutenant said.
This represented Pleasanton police's first fatal shooting since 2017 -- another situation that turned deadly after a man in a domestic dispute case charged toward officers with an apparent weapon.
The approximately 3-1/2-hour encounter on Feb. 17 at the Galloway Apartments complex on Willow Road ultimately ended in the span of about six seconds when Chavez exited the first-floor unit, walked several feet and then turned and ran at officers with a kitchen chopping knife in his hand, according to the police video.
"Domestic violence calls, these are dangerous types of incidents," Silacci told the Weekly. "The survivor made a courageous effort in seeking help. We're here to support her."
The eight-minute, 21-second video incorporates snippets from hours worth of visual and audio footage related to the incident, including from the initial 911 call from Chavez's girlfriend, officers' body-worn cameras and an Alameda County Sheriff's Office drone.
The video -- which also includes written slides from PPD explaining case details, captions with audio and other elements added during production -- was created by a video-editing company in close consultation with police staff, according to Silacci.
Early in the footage, police present part of the audio exchange between 911 dispatch and the woman, whose voice is said to be modified to help protect her identity.
The woman, who makes the call at 11:51 a.m. Feb. 17, describes an incident with her boyfriend in her apartment that occurred around 2-3 a.m. that day.
"I've called the police out on him before," she tells the dispatcher. "He had a restraining order ... I released it because he was, obviously he, you know, smooth operator got me back in. But last night was, it was it for me."
Silacci confirmed Pleasanton police responded to a domestic violence call involving this same couple in January, and Chavez was arrested on suspicion of felony domestic battery.
Chavez was released from jail at some point, and that case was still under review when the situation unfolded on Feb. 17, according to Silacci -- who said he did not know the circumstances of Chavez's release from custody. The lieutenant said a temporary restraining order against Chavez after his arrest was no longer active at the time of the second incident.
The woman told the dispatcher on Feb. 17 that overnight her boyfriend had "covered my face with a pillow, he pushed me, he pulled my hair, he wouldn't let me leave the room." He remained in the apartment, but she later made it out to another location at the complex and then called police.
Officers contacted the woman "who was in a safe location on the (Galloway) property" and then moved toward the first-floor unit where Chavez was reportedly inside, according to the video.
"Officers went to the apartment and attempts to contact Mr. Chavez were unsuccessful," according to a video slide. "Officers could see Mr. Chavez looking out the window of the apartment. They used a public address system to instruct Mr. Chavez to leave the apartment but he did not comply."
The video included audio of one police warning to Chavez: "You need to come outside, open the door with nothing in your hands; your hands up and you will not be harmed."
As the situation evolved, the police response included patrol officers, plainclothes officers and crisis negotiators, as well as the department's armored vehicle, Silacci said. Fire personnel and paramedics were also at the scene.
During the standoff, police said they obtained a warrant for Chavez's arrest signed by a judge.
"After 40 minutes of intermittent communication, Mr. Chavez stopped communications with crisis negotiators," a video slide stated. "A plan was developed to send a robot into the apartment to re-establish communication. Officers approached the apartment with protective equipment, including a less-lethal device."
With the robot at the door, two officers approached at 3:33 p.m. and one used a handheld battering ram to break open the door, a majority of which was made of glass, according to the video.
The two officers backed away from the door and police could see him opening and closing the busted door with a knife in his hand, according to the video. With the wheeled robot unable to get inside, police decided to break one of the windows around the corner from the door to allow a drone to view inside.
As officers break the window at 3:38:40 p.m, Chavez is seen walking out of the front door wearing a white T-shirt, dark pants and red sneakers and carrying a kitchen knife in his hand. He walks down the paved path several feet, turns at a hard-right in the path toward the officers at the window several yards away and runs toward them with the knife -- all in the span of approximately six seconds, according to the video.
One officer is identified as discharging a non-lethal firearm as Chavez is walking toward the bend. After Chavez starts to run at the police, one officer is shown to also discharge non-lethal bullets while two other officers (one on the ground and another perched atop the armored vehicle) fire their guns, according to the video.
The video shows the moment of the fatal encounter from multiple angles, including a grid of four body-cams at once.
The audio picks up multiple police voices, saying or shouting in succession: "At the door. At the door. Hey, he's at the door. At the door, barricading the door. Hey, door open now. He's coming out. Get back. Drop the knife. Drop the ... Shots fired. Shots fired. Shots fired. Shots fired."
The video does not appear to depict Chavez saying anything during those final six seconds.
Multiple gunshots were fired by police, but it is difficult to discern a count from the video and audio. Silacci said the number of bullets fired, as well as how many hit Chavez, is still under investigation. A coroner's autopsy has already been performed but the results are pending, according to the lieutenant.
As for the non-lethal rounds, one set were small bean bag bullets while the other set were round plastic projectiles, Silacci said. The video also shows a photograph of the kitchen knife with an 8-inch blade that police said is the same weapon Chavez was holding.
Officers and paramedics attempted to render emergency aid, but Chavez died at the scene, according to the video.
"Our goal is to peacefully resolve ... We also know domestic violence calls are some of the most dangerous ones," Silacci said. He noted that domestic support advocates responded to the scene that day to assist the survivor.
This marked the first fatal police shooting in Pleasanton in just under five years, but the circumstances were not too dissimilar.
In May 2017, an officer shot and killed Shannon Edward Estill after the Pleasanton man charged out of his garage toward the officer with an apparent weapon later deemed to be a black, pistol-sized BB gun.
Estill had holed up in his house while officers responded to a domestic incident, authorities said. The DA's Office cleared PPD Officer Keith Batt of criminal wrongdoing, deeming it justifiable self-defense.
Pleasanton police had a more recent and high profile in-custody death in 2018, but firearms were not involved.
Pleasanton native Jacob Bauer died at a hospital hours after becoming unresponsive during a confrontational arrest in which he was physically restrained by PPD officers outside at the Oak Hills Shopping Center in August 2018.
The Bauer case also resulted in the DA's Office clearing city police of criminal wrongdoing. A lawsuit brought by Bauer's parents against the city was settled before trial for $5.9 million and no admission of fault or liability by police.
Editor's note: The police-produced composite video from the Chavez encounter can be viewed on YouTube; viewer discretion is advised.