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Incident of Public Interest:  February 22, 2018


On Thursday, February 22, 2018, at approximately 11:08 a.m., the Sacramento Police Department (SPD) received multiple calls of a subject walking with a knife in the area of Elvas Avenue and J Street.

Officers arrived in the area and were originally unable to locate the subject described by callers. Officers remained in the area, locating the subject at Elvas Avenue and 63rd Street. The male subject was detained by officers and found to have a knife in his possession. He was identified as 33-year old Juan Heras-Castro. He was cuffed and placed in the back of a marked police vehicle. Once detained, Mr. Castro was calm and cooperative.

After some initial questioning SPD officers recognized that Mr. Castro may be suffering from a mental health crisis. Castro was transported to Mercy General Hospital in the 4100 block of J Street for an evaluation by medical staff.  Due to his calm demeanor, Castro was not detained in handcuffs.

As medical staff began to evaluate Castro he suddenly ran out of the hospital, across the parking lot and into a residential neighborhood. The officer pursued Castro on foot, catching up to him in the area of 39th and H Streets. Mr. Castro stopped running and became physically combative toward the officer. During the struggle, Mr. Castro was able to remove the officers’ handgun from the holster. Mr. Castro had control of the weapon with his finger on the trigger. The officer attempted to regain control of the weapon, as he feared that Mr. Castro was going to shoot and kill him.

The officer was able to trap the weapon against the ground but could not regain control. During the struggle, Mr. Castro fired the weapon three (3) times. An off-duty fire fighter was driving by and saw the altercation. He immediately assisted the officer and together they were able to regain control of the weapon and take Mr. Castro into custody.

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Video and audio files

The release of this material is done at the discretion of the Chief of Police as an ongoing effort to improve our organizational transparency and is not being released under the City Council's Police Use of Force policy.  All video and audio that was released has been processed for redactions to ensure the confidentiality and privacy of those involved.  The faces have been blurred and audio redactions are signified by muted audio with no accompanied sound.