RICHMOND, Calif. (KGO) -- An East Bay family is mourning the loss of a loved one. Richard Perez, 24, was allegedly shot and killed by a Richmond police officer. This is the city's first such incident since 2007.
According to Richmond Police Chief Chris Magnus, the officer involved in this incident is a Latino, Spanish-speaking, six-year veteran with the department.
Magnus said the officer was doing foot patrol at Uncle Sam's Liquor Store at 3322 Cutting Blvd. around 12:15 a.m. Sunday, when the incident occurred.
According to Magnus, security video footage shows that the officer encountered a Latino man at that time who was obviously intoxicated, and engaging in belligerent behavior.
Police say that Perez and the officer got into a physical fight. They were rolling around on the ground and Perez allegedly reached for the officer's gun, but friends and family say he was just drunk and the officer took things too far.
"All I saw was somebody laying out on the ground," a witness said.
"From this point on I don't think nobody is going to look at cop the same way," a man said.
One woman who was with Perez just moments before the incident said he was not armed. "That boy don't hurt nobody. He might have been drunk of whatever, but there's no use for that police officer to even have a gun pulled on that boy."
"It turned into a physical fight that lasted almost a minute, where the officer felt the suspect grabbing on to his gun and trying to pull on his holster," Richmond Police Capt. Mark Gagan said.
The officer is accused of shooting Prez three times in the chest.
Perez lived at his family's longtime Richmond business, Perez Bros. Recycling.
His grandparents admit he liked to drink, but describe him as loving, hard-working and are left with many questions. "Why couldn't they use a Taser or something if he's already drunk, or whatever. Why did they have to kill him?" Patricia Perez said.
"Pedie didn't have a gun, a knife, nothing," a family member said.
ABC7 News also spoke with the victim's father on the phone. He believes the officer used excessive force.
Magnus released a statement. Part of it says, "As Chief of Police, I am committed to the greatest degree of transparency possible involving this critical incident."
The Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office is now conducting an investigation of this shooting, while the officer remains on paid administrative leave.
Bay City News contributed to this story.
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