PIMA COUNTY, AZ – The family of Jose Guerena will receive $3.4 million from police agencies responsible for his death. Guerena was a Marine and an Iraq War veteran, who died when a SWAT team raided his house and killed him upon entry.
The combat vet was said to have believed that his house was under assault, and the timing of the incident bolstered his story enough to award the family a settlement. When SWAT officers raided the house, there were 38 seconds that transpired from the time police briefly blew a siren until shooting Guerena. The victim’s girlfriend claimed that they did not know that the no-knock raid was the police and the war veteran believed his house was under attack, which is why he grabbed his weapon, but kept his safety engaged.
Officers involved in the botched raid claimed that they saw a muzzle flash form Guerena’s gun, but forensic tests later proved that the weapon did not fire. The man was under investigation because he was related to criminals, although he had no criminal past himself. Guerena was employed at a local copper mine and worked 12 hours a day.
Police found no evidence of illegal activity in the home. Read more details at Radley Balko’s column on Huffpo.