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Man in car ‘reaches for gun’ before being shot dead by cops

The Phoenix Police Department have released body-cam footage showing the moments before officers shot dead a man ‘reaching for a gun’ inside his car.

James Porter Garcia was killed by police in the driveway of a Phoenix home on July 4.

Police, who previously released footage of the aftermath of Garcia’s death, have now also revealed what preceded it. 

The FBI is now conducting an independent civil rights review of the case. 

The chain of events was set off by a 911 caller who claimed that a man who had stabbed him earlier in the week had returned to threaten him, according to police.

He told officers that the suspect was a Hispanic man, around 28 years old, who was thought to be called Eric. 

In the clip by Phoenix PD, Sgt. Mercedes Fortune said: ‘The victim lead officers to a home on Glenrosa, telling them one man had a knife and another had a gun.’

Officers arrived on the scene and found Garcia sat in his car which was parked on the driveway of a house.

Police knocked on the driver’s side window before asking him to turn off the engine and step out of the vehicle in order to identify people in the area who appeared to match the description. 

But Garcia refused to get out his car.

He initially identified himself as Samuels Garcia-Salazar before changing it to John Salazar Banuelos.

He told police he was 38 years old but claimed that he did not have any identification with him at the time.  

‘Garcia admits to the officer he has a misdemeanor warrant,’ Fortune said. ‘The officers on the scene were more concerned with the fact that there was a stabbing in the area and that they needed to clear people from the area.

‘One minute and 15 seconds into this conversation with the sergeant, Garcia rolls up the window, but still doesn’t get out of the car. Less than a minute later, one of the officer shouts, “He’s got a gun!”‘

Officers claim that Garcia began to lift the gun despite them ordering him to drop the weapon.

Police then shot toward the car and Garcia died at the hospital a short time later.

The Phoenix Police Department later identified the officers who fired the shots at Garcia as Gregory Wilson, 31, and Noel Trevino, 29.

The FBI is now conducting an independent civil rights review of the case at the request of Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams. 

Garcia’s death also led to protests outside a police station in Arizona earlier this month.

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