Video shows intense moments before deadly officer-involved shooting

New Mexico News

New video shows the intense moments leading up to a deadly police shooting in Clovis that was later ruled justified. The lapel video from Clovis Police Officer Brent Aguilar shows the situation escalating in seconds.

“Get on the f****** ground!” Officer Aguilar yelled.

It started last October when officers were following a stolen car south of the Prince Street overpass. When they tried to stop the driver, 22-year-old Aaron Chavez, he took off.

At some point, Chavez ditched the car and reached inside his pocket, pulling out a chainsaw blade that had been made into a weapon. In fear for his life, Officer Aguilar opened fire, killing Chavez.

“CPD shots fired!” Officer Aguilar yelled seconds later.

Chavez was shot four times. No other weapons were found.

Officer Aguilar told State Police, who investigated the case, that Chavez pulled his hand up from his waist area and swung his arm in a sideways circular motion towards him.

“I remember thinking if I got hurt, (inaudible), who’s going to take care of me? And who is going to tell my son?” Officer Aguilar said.

A panel of district attorneys from around the state reviewed the shooting last month and found Officer Aguilar was justified in his use of deadly force.

“I knew based on my experience, my time as a police officer, that if I would’ve given him that opportunity to do that again, there’s a very high chance that I would be injured, that I could be incapacitated,” Officer Aguilar said.

Chavez’s family says they’re working on filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Aguilar is currently named in three pending lawsuits claiming excessive force.

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