For release on September 16, 2021
Deputy District Attorney
DA Report: SJPD Officer Lawfully Shoots Gunman
An undercover San Jose police officer on a stakeout lawfully shot and killed a wanted suspect who opened the officer’s car door and pointed a loaded ghost gun at him, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office has determined.
The suspect, Demetrius Stanley, 31, had just chased an unarmed undercover officer down the street with the same unregistered handgun.
The officers were there to figure out how to safely arrest Stanley – who was wanted for an armed robbery - later that week.
Prosecutor Robert Baker- who authored the 28-page public report – wrote: “As soon as Stanley opened the car door, Officer Baza was staring down the barrel of a loaded semiautomatic handgun, held by a man who threatened a minor with a firearm just months earlier and chased off a fellow officer with a loaded handgun. In that split second, Officer Baza had no other reasonable choice than to shoot Stanley to save his own life.”
The District Attorney’s Office investigates all fatal law enforcement encounters to determine if the lethal force was legal. By law, officers are allowed to use deadly force when they or others are faced with imminent danger.
The arrest warrant was issued for a March 12 incident in which Stanley followed a 16-year-old in his car and pulled a gun on him as he exited his vehicle carrying an airsoft rifle that he was returning to a friend. When the youth dropped the rifle and ran away, Stanley grabbed the rifle and drove off. After a traffic stop two weeks later, police found a loaded weapon in Stanley’s vehicle. On May 20, the DA charged Stanley for the March 12 robbery.
On the evening of May 31, 2021, Hans Jorgenson and Anthony Baza - both members of the SJPD’s Covert Response Unit (“CRU”) - were surveilling Tofts Drive to verify if Stanley was living on that street. If he was, CRU would then conduct a “surround and call-out” operation to take Stanley into custody later that week.
Jorgenson, pretending to be a jogger, broke into a sprint when Stanley exited the home and “racked” his weapon, effectively getting it ready to fire. Baza was in his car when Stanley opened Baza’s driver’s side door and pointed the handgun at him. The officer identified himself and fired four times, fatally. The officer told investigators: “I thought he was going to shoot me.” The shooting was captured on security video.
The Medical Examiner’s Office determined that Stanley was intoxicated with twice the legal blood-alcohol limit for driving.