10 Nov DA Won’t Press Charges in 2020 Richmond Police Shooting
(Image courtesy of Contra Costa County)
By Tony Hicks
Bay City News Foundation
The use of force by police resulting in the 2020 death of Juan Carlos Ayon Barraza in Richmond was “reasonable under the totality of the circumstances,” according to a report from the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office released Thursday.
Vallejo police received a call about a missing woman, who was last seen with Barraza, at about 8 a.m. on April 16, 2020. A family member of the missing woman said they confronted Barraza, 24, about her whereabouts, to which Barraza allegedly said “something bad” happened to the 29-year-old woman. Barraza then allegedly got into his vehicle and fled the area.
Around 6:45 p.m. that day, a bicyclist riding on Pinehurst Road between Moraga and Oakland saw a sedan blocking the roadway with a white van ahead of the car. As the bicyclist passed. they allegedly saw a man fitting Barraza’s description dumping what appeared to be a woman’s body off the edge of the road.
Oakland police responded to the bicyclist’s 911 call and located the van and the suspect. A chase ensued through Oakland city streets and onto the freeway, ending in Richmond.
The victim was found alive with at least one gunshot wound, but unresponsive. She died in a hospital nearly a month later.
Police said during the freeway pursuit, Barraza twice waved a firearm at officers and rammed the van into a patrol car at South 37th Street near Carlson Boulevard in Richmond, hitting an officer and trapping another in his car.
Oakland and Richmond police fired at Barraza multiple times as Barraza drove his van into another police vehicle, causing severe injuries to one officer. An officer then fired two rounds at the back of Barraza’s van, killing him.
The Contra Costa County coroner’s office performed an autopsy on Barraza the next day, determining he died from a gunshot wound to his head and chest area, the District Attorney’s Office said in a statement Thursday.
Officials said Barraza’s blood contained 360 nanograms per milliliter of benzoylecgonine, which is a product of cocaine.
The District Attorney’s Office said it will take no further action in the case and that the family of the victim and the state attorney general’s office have been notified of the report — which can be viewed on the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s website at https://www.contracosta.ca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/77007/Juan-Carlos-Ayon-Barraza-LEIFI-Final.
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