SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The ABC7 News I-Team has exclusively obtained the 911 call that was made after 28-year-old Alex Nieto was shot and killed by San Francisco police at Bernal Heights Park two years ago.
The call was played in federal court on Thursday, on day three of a trial into a wrongful death lawsuit brought by Nieto's parents. Testimony is shedding new light on what led up to the fatal police shooting in a San Francisco park. The ABC7 News I-Team
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It was the most gripping day so far, and not a good one for police. We finally heard from the man who set the wheels in motion that night by calling 911.
Justin Fritz testified in San Francisco federal court that on the evening of March 21, 2014, he and his partner were walking their bulldog and springer spaniel on Bernal Heights Park when they spotted a suspicious person and called 911.
The operator asked for a description. In the call you hear:
Fritz: "In a red jacket, probably 6 feet 1 inch, 200 pounds."
Operator: "What race is he?"
Operator: "Is he Hispanic, African..."
Fritz: "It looks like he may be Hispanic."
And Fritz stated without equivocation that the man had a gun.
Operator: "The gun is visible?"
Operator: "Okay, what type of gun is it? Is it a handgun?"
Fritz: "Yeah, I would say a black handgun."
But Fritz never saw Alex Nieto with any kind of weapon. He was just conveying what his partner said -- that Nieto had a gun and was just practicing his draw, by pulling it out again and again like. They apparently didn't see yellow stripes indicating it's a Taser. Here's a look is the same model Nieto had that night.
Nieto used the Taser for his job as nightclub bouncer, where he was headed.
On the stand, Fritz also said Nieto was pacing back and forth in front of a chain link fence, shadow boxing, and eating chips or sunflower seeds from a bag. He watched police arrive and walked away before they opened fire.
In the 911 call you hear gunshots and then he says, "(Expletive), there's gunfire."
Fritz was in the line of fire -- bullets hit the eucalyptus trees over his head.
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"They're firing at me? They're firing at me! Help, help, help," he said in the 911 call.
Fritz testified he didn't hear the exchange that police described -- them yelling, "show me your hands" and Nieto answering, "No, show me your hands."
After his time on the stand, Fritz apologized to Nieto's parents, saying, "I didn't want to hurt anyone. I'm so sorry for your loss." The father allowed Fritz to hug him, the mother refused.
Late Thursday, a witness took the stand saying he saw it all happen. That Nieto was not aiming the Taser at police, and had his hands in his jacket pockets when he went down.
He'll be back on the stand Friday morning. We should also hear from the fourth officer who opened fire that day.
Click here to take a look at investigative reports from the ABC7 News I-Team.
I-TEAM EXCLUSIVE: 911 call from Alex Nieto shooting in San Francisco
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