Santa Clara County District Attorney rules 2017 deadly police shooting justified, releases body camera footage

SUNNYVALE, Calif. (KGO) -- The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office has released body camera footage of a deadly police shooting in 2017. The DA's office ruled a Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety officer was justified in killing a man who stabbed his ex-girlfriend and killed a police dog.

Sunnyvale officers responded to a report of a domestic-related stabbing on October 31, 2017. Officers found a woman who had been stabbed in the stomach. According to the DA's report, she told officers her ex-boyfriend, Jesus Contreras Jr., had told her he would "cut her to pieces."

Contreras barricaded himself in the victim's apartment. Officers said Contreras refused to surrender, so they sent a police dog, Jax, into the home. Contreras stabbed Jax numerous times.

Officers went inside and repeatedly told Contreras to surrender. On the video, you can hear Contreras refuse and verbally challenge the officers.

At one point, Contreras threw a knife at officers, hitting one in the arm. The officer, identified as Lt. Emmett Larkin, fired his weapon twice, killing Contreras.

In her report, the Assistant District Attorney wrote, "The law allows Lt. (Emmett) Larkin to fire his weapon in defense of others (and himself) until the suspect no longer posed an imminent threat. Lt. Larkin's belief the suspect posed an imminent threat was clearly reasonable given the suspect's words, stabbing of Jane Doe, assaultive actions toward the officers and the fact he had already stabbed the canine."

Toxicology tests of Contreras's blood revealed the presence of methamphetamine, amphetamine and THC.
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