Oxnard police release video of fatal shooting

The Oxnard Police Department released body-worn camera footage Friday evening showing the moments leading up to an officer's deadly use of force on Sunday.

Video from three officers at the scene appears to support the narrative authorities have said caused one officer to fatally shoot 60-year-old Adam Barcenas on a downtown street.

Barcenas can be heard, then seen, entering an otherwise calm scene on West Fourth Street during a 6 a.m. traffic stop, where the officers had been wrapping up a DUI investigation near the post office.

"Hey, you f--- pigs," he yells in the pre-dawn darkness, shouting, "I hate you!" as he becomes visible on the cameras, wielding a steel bar about 5 feet long.

The interaction lasted roughly 10 seconds before Barcenas was shot.

The video, about 7 minutes, 42 seconds long, was posted on YouTube. Oxnard Police Chief Jason Benites and Assistant Chief Denise Shadinger appear at the beginning, each providing context for what the officers' cameras recorded.

The department also released the officers' names and employment histories Friday evening. None had previously been involved in a shooting incident.

More:Oxnard authorities provide more details on fatal police shooting

Cameras' view

Officer Shayn Schwartz, who ultimately fired his service weapon, had been conducting the DUI investigation. He was assisted by officers Alexus Santos and Bryce Parker.

The officers' three patrol cars were parked along Fourth, near a grass lawn and bench outside the post office building between A Street and Oxnard Boulevard.

The first clip shows Santos' camera footage as she is talking to the DUI suspect, who appears to be standing at ease with his hands in his pockets, when Barcenas' initial shouts can be heard. Santos can be heard telling the DUI suspect: "Watch out...get back," as Barcenas comes into view, holding the large pole. She quickly pulls out her yellow Taser.

Barcenas, partially lit at times by police lights, can be seen running across the grass as he turns and appears to run toward Schwartz, with Parker visible beyond.

Santos' yellow Taser comes into the camera frame as she fires the stun gun at the same time Schwartz fires four shots. The Taser's clicking sounds continue in the aftermath.

The view from Schwartz's camera is blocked by his firearm much of the time. Parker's video shows Barcenas moving toward Schwartz as the officer fires.

A still from an Oxnard police officer's body-worn camera footage shows the scene moments before a fatal police shooting as a man advanced on officers carrying a large steel bar Sunday morning. The video was released Friday evening.
A still from an Oxnard police officer's body-worn camera footage shows the scene moments before a fatal police shooting as a man advanced on officers carrying a large steel bar Sunday morning. The video was released Friday evening.

Barcenas is seen in the videos holding the bar with both hands, with the bar at an angle over his right shoulder. As he approaches Schwartz, one camera shows, he appears to be lifting the pole as he is shot. He then stumbles and drops the pole, which can be heard clanking against the sidewalk.

In all three clips, officers can be heard shouting: "Hey, put it down!" After the shots are fired, Schwartz speaks into his radio: "Shots fired. Officer needs help."

Three of the four rounds fired hit Barcenas, the department said, striking him in his inner right thigh, left hip and left upper torso.

Santos' Taser probes struck Barcenas but embedded in his clothing and didn't penetrate his skin, officials said. Parker drew his Taser but did not fire.

Barcenas was treated at the scene and taken to Ventura County Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead around 8:30 a.m.

Multiple investigations

Schwartz has been with the department since April 2022. He previously served with the Burbank Police Department starting in 2018, according to the department's release.

Santos has been with the department since April 2020. Parker joined the department in April 2022 after serving as a Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy since 2019.

As is routine with a fatal police shooting, all three officers were put on paid administrative leave.

Benites described the three investigations now in play:

  • The department's major crimes unit will investigate the entire incident and submit its report to the Ventura County District Attorney's Office for legal review.

  • The department's professional standards division will do an administrative review concerning whether the officers' actions were in line with agency policy.

  • The DA's office will also investigate to determine whether the use of force was legally justified. The office usually issues a public report.

The incident remains under investigation, Benites said, asking anyone with information to contact Detective Meagan Tobey at 805-385-7755 or meagan.tobey@oxnardpd.org.

This story may be updated.

Warning: This video contains content that may be disturbing to some viewers.

This article originally appeared on Ventura County Star: Oxnard police release video of fatal shooting