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Salinas resident killed in police shooting on Smith Street

Note: This video has been edited to cut out the moment of the shooting and blur Martinez's face. The original video released by the DA's Office did not have audio.


UPDATE 7/19/2021 6 p.m. The Monterey County District Attorney's Office has released more details and new video related to a police shooting in Salinas that happened Friday evening.

The DA's Office said officers responded to a 911 call at around 8 p.m. from someone saying their neighbor on Smith Street, who they said was extremely drunk, had pointed a black handgun at him. The caller said the gun might have been a BB gun because it looked too small to him, but he was not sure. He also told dispatchers that the man with the gun had attacked them before and vandalized property.

In addition to being drunk, the caller said he believed his neighbor was on meth.

When officers arrived, Officer Mario Reyes positioned himself behind the engine block of his patrol car with his rifle about 50 feet from the suspect's home, according to the DA's Office.

Officers tried to get a phone number for the suspect, identified as 19-year-old Gerardo Martinez, so they could talk over the phone, but they were unable to get one. They used a drone for overhead surveillance.

Martinez walked partially out of the side door of his home at around 8:30 p.m., according to the DA's Office, and officers told him in Spanish to come out with his hands up. While they were issuing commands, he entered and exited the side door several times.

At one point, Martinez got what appeared to be a handgun from inside the home and can be seen in drone video pointing it. The DA's Office said he pointed it at Officer Reyes, prompting Reyes to fire three rounds from his rifle. At least one round hit Martinez in the torso, and he died of his injuries.

When officers entered the home, they said they found a real-looking black BB gun next to Martinez.

The DA's Office said the California Department of Justice decided not to investigate this shooting because Martinez was armed, according to their interpretation of the law. Under the statute, a deadly weapon includes any loaded weapon that could cause death or serious injury if discharged, and a BB gun falls within that definition.

PREVIOUS STORY: The Monterey County District Attorney is investigating an officer involved shooting that occurred Friday night.

The Salinas Police Department says their officers were dispatched to the 100 block of Smith Street to investigate a report of a man with a gun around 8:00 p.m.

The investigation resulted in an officer involved shooting.

There are no outstanding suspects at this time.

Local News / Monterey County / News / Top Stories / Video

Amelia Rosenberg

Amelia Rosenberg is a weekend producer at KION News Channel 5/46.

Avery Johnson

Avery Johnson is the Digital Content Director at KION News Channel 5/46.


1 Comment

  1. I was watching the news segment today at 5pm. The mom states that the police should have not shot and killed her son. That there could be a language barrier. From the video it looks like there is no language barrier. Both the guy killed and officer was speaking in Spanish. Officer directed commands and the person killed did not complied. So lesson 101 if you are dealing with the police and they are directing for you to do something you might want to listen and comply. If you dont comply then your subject to face the consequences. Its always easier to blame the police. Its never there fault. BS…… Maybe the mother should have done a better job raising there son not to get drunk and point a BB gun at an officer.

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