On April 24, Tucson Police held a press conference to discuss a shooting that took place last month by officers and in the 5600 block of East Pima. Officials revealed footage of two separate bodycam clips that were caught by officers on the scene of the shooting.
Chief of Police Chris Magnus was joined by training experts Fabian Pacheco and Eric Kazmierczak.
Magnus could share few details of the case due to the fact that the investigation into the shooting is ongoing.
According to Magnus, officers responded to several calls of a male, Carlos Alegria, 41, harassing local construction workers. The officers arrived on the scene and found Alegria with not only a knife in his hand but what appeared to be a gun. Police ordered Alegria to drop his weapons and stop his forward movement towards their location behind a brick wall. Alegria ignored their demands and proceeded toward the officers. Police opened fire. At least five shots can be heard in the videotape from the bodycams.
While Alegria was hit, according to Chief Magnus, it is unknown how many bullets actually hit their mark.
After Alegria dropped to the ground and released the weapons, the officers on the scene wearing the bodycams both hurried to their motorcycles to retrieve IFAKs, which stand for Individual First Aid Kit. Officers returned quickly to Alegria and began to tend to his wounds to prevent further bleeding.
The use of the IFAKs was not shown as both videos had to be stopped to protect the rights of the suspect, according to Magnus.
Chief Magnus, with a very upfront and approachable demeanor, appeared to be willing to answer any questions within the legal confines.
Kazmierczak, a specialist in the IFAK training, said that the kit has been used on members of the public approximately 180 times to his knowledge. He also explained that the equipment in the packs is capable of stopping any serious blood flow in cases of emergencies, and includes a clot agent that was used on the scene itself.
“We have a number of other things in the kit that really do almost exactly the same thing. The quick clot that we use is similar to a gauze. Simple wound hacking with regular compress gauze, with one of the other components of the kit, will do virtually the same thing as the quick clot. A little bit of wound hacking and direct pressure and you are going to have the same result as the quick clot,” stated Kazmierczak.
Magnus later explained that one fifth of the total patrol force is equipped with bodycams, including every motorcycle officer.
Magnus called the bodycams successful in providing a true and clear picture as to the scene the officer encountered. Magnus is seeking grant funding for all officers to be equipped with the cameras. “I don’t have all the details on the grant right now because that was just something that we submitted, but we are talking a substantial amount that we have to come up with,” Magnus explained. “We have to match about 50 percent of the total cost, and some of that is what they call ‘in-kind’ so it isn’t necessarily in dollars but these are costly. There is no around it and one way or another our goal is to whether we get funded through this particular grant or whether if we have to keep finding other ways to attract that funding. Our goal is to have all of our officers fitted with cameras as early as possible.”