Surveillance camera footage released today of last week’s deadly police shooting in Glen Park showed Sergio Milton Barrios, 40, apparently dancing in the breezeway of his building near the gun he discarded earlier in the three-hour standoff.
When he reaches for his gun, four officers fire various weapons at him.
The officer who shot and killed Barrios on Friday, May 19 was identified today as Officer Gregory Buhagiar of Northern Station, a member of the tactical specialist team trained in “high-risk” incidents.
Barrios, who was a resident of the building at Bosworth and Cuvier streets where the incident occurred, spent hours in the building’s breezeway, seemingly unaware he was in a standoff with police. Early on, Barrios complied with officers’ orders to drop his gun, but at around 5:50 p.m. he reached for it again.
Immediately, Buhagiar, who was perched on the roof of the adjacent building, shot his rifle, killing Barrios. At the same time, three other unnamed officers shot foam batons and pepper balls with their “less-lethal” weapons.
Ingleside police officers first arrived on the scene in response to a 911 call about a burglary.
“He’s inside. He broke in my property,” said a panicked-sounding caller to dispatchers around 2:20 p.m., noting that Barrios lived in the building, but broke into his unit. “He’s inside. He has a gun.”
Commander Paul Yep, who gave the majority of the presentation on Friday, said that at least one officer who arrived on the scene recognized Barrios from a previous incident when he shot and killed his own dog.
Yep did not elaborate on the alleged burglary.
At the first interaction shown on video, Barrios appears to be in the breezeway of the building near laundry machines.
Early on in the interaction, when ordered to by officers, Barrios can be seen throwing his gun to the ground around 3:50 p.m. In English and Spanish, officers gave commands and tried to coax Barrios outside over the course of more than three hours.
Barrios can be seen in security camera footage in the breezeway, with his phone propped in front of him, and his gun and keys a few feet away on the ground. At some points, he appears to take cocaine from a dollar bill. Police later identified the gun as an AMT Hardballer, a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol, loaded with three rounds of ammunition.
Meanwhile, several officers are huddled around the gated entrance to the breezeway, more are on the roof above the scene.
While most of the footage of the more-than-three-hour-long situation was not shown, snippets of the interactions between police and Barrios presented at Friday’s town hall show Barrios otherwise unresponsive to the officers. Officers played a recording of Barrios’ close family member, asking him to come outside.
“Come out, please. So it’s not dangerous for more people,” the family member’s voice said in Spanish.
At some points in the camera footage, Barrios appears to be dancing to music, and Yep suggested he may have been wearing headphones and unable to hear the officers’ commands.
Earlier in the day, Barrios can be seen walking around the breezeway with an axe on his shoulder, purportedly near the 911 caller’s apartment.
After a long standoff, Barrios reaches for his keys on the ground, then reaches back out for the gun. The shots from the four officers appear to be fired instantly.
Buhagiar has been trained in both Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) and Critical Mindset Coordinated Response (CMCR), two programs intended to train officers in de-escalation and resolving critical incidents, Yep said.
Buhagiar has been involved in two other shootings and other incidents. In February, 2018, he was one of several officers who shot at a murder suspect. He also reportedly shot Mario Vargas, an armed man in the Excelsior, in January, 2007.
In 2008, Buhagiar was named in a civil rights suit after allegedly putting his hands down two teenagers’ pants during a stop in SoMa.
The shooting is being investigated by various independent agencies, including the Department of Police Accountability, the District Attorney’s Office, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, and two departments within the SFPD.
The county offers different services for victims of trauma, which can be found here. Victims of violent crime can also contact the Trauma Recovery Center at UCSF. The full video of Friday’s town hall meeting is below:
Seems legit. Case closed.