SAN JOSE, Ca. – A 20-year-old college student has filed a Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit against the city of San Jose and the San Jose Police Department after a police officer shot him four times while trying to disarm a gunman at a restaurant.
The incident occurred around 3 a.m. on March 27 at a Mexican restaurant near San Jose State University. K’aun Green was waiting for his food when a man who appeared to be drunk approached him, challenged him to a fight, and punched him in the face. A fight between the two men ensued. Another man, who appeared to be friends with the man who punched Green, then pulled out a gun and pointed it at Green, the lawsuit says.
According to the lawsuit, Green wrestled the gun away from the man and was attempting to leave the restaurant when a San Jose Police Officer shot Green four times.
“Police arrived on the scene just as K’aun was inching backwards through the restaurant’s front door. He had his back to the assembled officers and was holding the gun above his head, in his left hand with the barrel of the gun pointed towards the sky. Then without warning or giving him a reasonable time to acknowledge the officers’ presence and/or respond to any commands, a single officer opened fire, striking K’aun four times in the left leg, arm, and abdomen. No other officer fired their gun,” the lawsuit says.
At a press conference, Chief of Police Anthony Mata addressed the shooting, saying police were working a gun related homicide a few 100 feet away from the restaurant when they were told by fleeing customers that there was “a fight involving a gun happening inside the restaurant.”
Mata said officers believe the incident in the restaurant could have involved the shooter responsible for the homicide they were working nearby.
“Watching people running out of the La Victoria Restaurant, an officer believes that an active shooter scenario is unfolding or about to unfold and broadcasts that information over the police radio. Officers also believed the incident at the restaurant could involve the outstanding homicide suspect,” Mata said.
According to Mata, the two men were still fighting when officers approached the scene. He said officers instructed Green to drop the gun multiple times, however he did not comply, which led to an officer shooting him.
Surveillance video inside the restaurant shows Green and other men fighting and wrestling for the gun, however body camera video of the shooting that occurred when the men stepped outside the restaurant has not yet been released. Mata says the body camera footage will be revealed in the coming weeks.
“Mr. K’aun Green is a hero! He saved his life and the life of everyone else in that restaurant,” Green’s lawyer, Adanté Pointer said. “Sadly, the police poorly responded and overreacted to simply seeing a black man holding a gun which resulted in K’aun paying the price for the police officer’s rash decision with his blood.”
Green was taken to a nearby hospital and underwent surgery. He suffered injuries to his abdomen, leg and arm. According to the lawsuit, Green is a football player at nearby Contra Costa College and it is uncertain if he will be able to continue pursuing his athletic career due to the shooting.