SAN JOSE — Authorities have cleared three San Jose police officers in the fatal May 2019 shooting of Efren Esquivel — who ran over one of them while trying to escape from a carport, newly released bodycam video shows.
The report written by prosecutor Rob Baker concludes that officers Aaron Alvarez and Edward Carboni legally shot 24-year-old Efren Esquivel as he drove at Sgt. James Mason, who also legally opened fire before he was hit, dragged and then pinned against another parked car.
The three officers “only fired their weapons as a last, and necessary, resort following multiple attempts to de-esacalate the situation and resolve it without force,” Baker wrote. “Only when Esquivel ignored their attempts to surrender peacefully and drove at Sergeant Mason at a high rate of speed posing a clear threat of injury or death did they fire their weapons.”
The incident happened on May 4, 2019, when an employee of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office had her car stolen as it was idling unattended in the driveway of her San Jose home.
The deputy reported that her 2011 Toyota Camry disappeared around 11:30am after she briefly went back into her house.
The car was found about an hour later parked in the carport of an apartment complex, with 24-year-old Efren Esquivel inside.
Officers attempted multiple times to have Esquivel get on the ground, but after climbing out of the car and standing on top of it, he got back inside the car and attempted to drive through the police vehicles blocking him in.
Esquivel then drove directly into San Jose Police Sgt. James Mason, knocking him down, dragging him into another vehicle and pinning him as Mason and other officers opened fire on Esquivel.
Mason suffered a shattered scapula and bruises, and is still with the department.
An autopsy confirmed that Esquivel died from gunshot wounds in his torso and right arm. A toxicology test also showed that Esquivel had a “near toxic” level of methamphetamine in his body when he died.
According to the report, Carboni fired 15 shots, Mason fired five shots, and Alvarez fired one shot.