STOCKTON (CBS13) — Stockton police say the homicide suspect they fatally shot while trying to arrest on Wednesday was believed to be responsible for other shootings and violent crimes in the city.
Officers say 39-year-old Antwane Burrise was wanted in connection to a June 1 deadly shooting. On that day, 39-year-old Renard Thomas was found dead inside a car along the 300 block of Florence Street in Stockton; he had been shot multiple times.
On Wednesday around noon, officers spotted Burrise in a car at an apartment complex along the 5200 block of Cosumnes Drive. Police moved in and blocked Burrise from trying to escape, but he allegedly rammed a patrol car.
At one point during the incident, Burrise allegedly backed up into the path of an undercover officer. This prompted that officer – as well as two uniformed officers – to open fire at the suspect.
“I was shocked that it happened right here on Trinity, in a gated community,” Devin King, a neighbor who witnessed the shooting, said. “’Stop what you’re doing,’ dah dah dah, and then pretty much started hearing gunfire.”
The officers continued to give him commands, but after some time they noticed no one was moving inside the suspect’s car. A bean bag gun was then used to shoot out the windows of the car and officers did an emergency extraction.
Burrise was given first aid and was soon rushed to the hospital, but he was later pronounced dead.
A search of Burrise’s car uncovered a loaded handgun with an extended magazine and a loaded illegally modified assault rifle loaded also with an extended magazine.
Investigators say Burrise was suspected in several other violent crimes – like shootings and street gang activity.
CBS13 spoke to Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones about the incident. We asked Jones if these factors played a role in how officers approach to apprehend Burrise in the parking lot.
“Clearly, when officers know and have identified this individual and have to apprehend him, they have to factor in all of that information that this is an extremely violent individual who is armed, has been armed, was armed. So, that certainly changes the approach,” Jones said.
The three officers involved in the shooting have been placed on three-day paid administrative leave, per usual law enforcement policy following such incidents.
CBS13 wanted to get insight as to what changes, if any, Stockton Police have made following the George Floyd protests and calls for police reform, seeing as this is the first deadly officer-involved shooting to happen since then.
“We have recently implemented de-escalation training and there’s a scale. So what that means is if officers are posed with a situation, and let’s give an example of where someone’s not resisting then we shouldn’t be using force on someone who is not resisting,” Jones said.
The chief also mentioned how those procedures are being used at local protests.
“If we had large groups that were going out into the street and vandalisms begin to occur, well then, we would tier in and we would level in that level that was necessary,” Jones said. “And then the moment that it becomes peaceful again, we tier back. That’s just an example of a scale of force for a large demonstration or an individual basis.”
The department is also working on calming down situations where someone might be dealing with a mental illness or substance abuse with social workers to prevent incidents from getting out of hand.
It’s also creating something called the City Manager Review Board to find potential changes that many are demanding.
“So this is another layer of oversight over the police department through the city manager’s office to form the city managers review board to look at policy, training data and to give recommendations on possible changes for policing,” Jones said.
When asked if officers needed to open fire the shooting at the Consumes Drive apartment complex, Jones said that was the investigation will reveal and that it was a very dangerous situation involving a very dangerous individual.