BLOOMINGTON (CBSLA) — The family of a man who was shot dead by officers following a pursuit in San Bernardino County last month is looking for answers they say police refuses to give them.
The family of Erick Aguirre held up signs outside the Rialto Police Department Thursday demanding justice for the 25-year-old killed on a dirt road in Bloomington. They say the agency is holding out on information regarding the incident, including officers’ body cam footage.
Police said they tried to pull Aguirre over on the night of July 14, but that he refused to stop and instead led them on a 10-minute pursuit into the town of Bloomington. They finally stopped Aguirre on Canfield Way, but they allege he still would not exit the vehicle.
Officers then broke the car’s rear passenger side window and released a K-9, which bit Aguirre’s female passenger on the leg.
They then shot Aguirre when they realized he had a shotgun.
“We are confident that our officers acted reasonably and took the necessary action to keep themselves safe,” Rialto PD Sgt. Cameron Nelson told CBS2 News. “We get it. We all have family members, too, and if something like that happened to one of our family members, we would want the answers.”
However, answers are exactly what the family says are missing.
“I’ve been out here every day, every week asking questions, and they haven’t given me any response to my questions,” mother Odela Penaloca said through a translator.
The officer-involved shooting remains under investigation, and police have not said why Aguirre was pulled over or if he reached for the shotgun before he was shot. It is also unclear if they will release the body cam footage before the investigation ends.
The female passenger told the family she remembers Aguirre keeping his hands on the steering wheel that night.
Aguirre’s younger brother Nick told CBS2 they were connected because of the same cancer that afflicted them both and that required that Aguirre’s leg be amputated.
“[He] took care of me and always worried about me,” said Nick.