Last week Stockton, California police released body camera video of a car chase that ended in a deadly police shooting in February.
K-9 Officer Kyle Ribera fired at least 30 shots at 54-year-old Tracy Gaeta after a car chase ended on a dead end street.
According to a statement released last week, the police department said the incident began when Gaeta fled the scene after hitting a police SUV that was stopped at a red light. She was later spotted and pursued by officer Ribera.
When the chase ended at a dead end road, officer Ribera got out of his patrol car and ordered Gaeta to get out of her car. Police say Gaeta then backed her car into Ribera’s car, causing the car’s door to knock the officer down.
Body camera footage shows Ribera firing 18 shots towards the driver side of Gaeta’s car from behind, reloading his gun and firing several more shots. In total, about 30 gunshots can be heard in a span of about 32 seconds but due to the number of shots it is difficult to get an exact count.
Gaeta was taken to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead, the department said.
According to a policy adopted by the Stockton Police Department in 2019, officers are “generally” prohibited from firing at fleeing vehicles.
Gary Gwilliams, the lawyer representing the family of Gaeta, said the officer acted against policies adopted by many departments that bar or discourage police from firing at moving vehicles.
“No matter what was going on with her — even if she had committed a heinous crime — he didn’t have the right to shoot her,” Gwilliams said in an interview. “She never threatened him.”
Gaeta was a retired childcare provider. A mother of two and grandmother to two.
During a February interview with ABC10, Gaeta’s family described her as loving, caring, honest and heartful adding that they were searching for answers.
“Wasn’t there other alternatives they could have used to do that? I think that was really excessive and we would like to have answers,” said Betty Faciane, Gaeta’s sister.
According to the family attorney, Gaeta had no history of serious mental illness or a criminal record. He added that she was depressed from a recent breakup.
The Stockton Police Department says a multi-agency critical incident investigation is now underway as well as an internal departmental use of force review.