The Fresno Police Department released a “critical incident video” Friday of officers killing Robert Corchado on March 4 near a Walmart on Herndon Avenue.
The nearly 14-minute video includes bodycam footage from the perspective of the officers that Corchado shot at — striking one in his bullet-proof vest — before they killed him.
Warning: Due to the Graphic Nature of This Video, Viewer Discretion Is Advised
The video covers how Corchado, 29, failed to pull over for a traffic stop at Fresno Street and Shaw Avenue, smashed into cars at a Highway 41 on-ramp while driving in reverse, and how officers finally incapacitated his 2009 Chevy Malibu by ramming it from behind in front of the Walmart.
The department said that the traffic stop was initiated after officers recognized Corchado, who had outstanding felony warrants.
After Corchado exited his car, he began running toward a Camaro whose driver had stopped because of the police activity. Officers yelled for Corchado to stop, but when he ignored their commands, they shot him before he reached the Camaro.
Also shown in the video: photos of the 9 mm handgun next to Corchado’s car, a shell casing on the car’s front seat, a .22 rifle, clip, and ammunition inside the car, an officer’s vest with a bullet indentation, a recovered bullet, and the front of a police cruiser with bullet holes.
Bystander video is included in the department’s report, as well.
Lawyer Criticizes Video, Says Corchado ‘Murdered’
Fresno attorney Kevin Little, who is representing Corchado’s family, criticized the video. He called it a “movie” drawing an incomplete picture of what transpired.
“Interestingly, video footage from the overhead helicopter and also from the officer who performed the patrol intervention technique, who should have been in the best position to capture the events that unfolded, are not included in what was released by the Fresno Police Department today,” said Little. “Nor is any support cited for the forensic assertions made in the video.
“The Corchado family remains convinced now more than ever that Robert Corchado, Jr., was murdered at a time when it was clear that he was unarmed and was moving away from the officers. This shooting clearly did not comply with police policy and procedures or the law.”
State Investigating the Shooting
The shooting is under investigation by the California Department of Justice, the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office, Fresno PD internal affairs, and the city’s Office of Independent Review.
Fresno Police Lt. Bill Dooley said in a news release that the department is cooperating fully with the investigations and would not comment further about the video report.
Corchado’s Family and Friends Protest Fatal Shooting
On March 15, CBS47/KSEE 24 aired a report in which friends and families of the slain man questioned the decision to shoot him.
You can watch it below.
Top to bottom: a shell casing in the 2009 Chevy Malbi driven by Robert Corchado, a 9 mm handgun recovered next to the car, and a .22 caliber rifle, clip, and ammunition inside the vehicle. (Fresno PD/March 4. 2023 Critical Incident Report)
(GV Wire’s David Taub contributed to this article.)