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Video reveals officers’ use of less-than-lethal rounds, tasers, and live rounds failed to stop scissor-wielding man

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The Oxnard Police Department released videos of the officer-involved shooting incident that occurred at approximately 11:40 P.M. on Sunday, May 26, 2024.

At approximately 11:26 PM on Sunday, May 26, 2024, Oxnard Police Department officers responded to multiple calls for service regarding a male subject walking in traffic in the area of Ventura Road and Doris Avenue. Caller information reported that the subject was holding a pair of scissors in his hand. One or more officers recognized the subject, 27-year-old Oxnard resident Isaiah Nichols, and confirmed that he had an outstanding felony arrest warrant for attempted murder. This warrant was for an unrelated stabbing incident that occurred on May 17, 2024. During that incident, Nichols reportedly stabbed an adult female victim multiple times in the head, and then fled the scene. The incident, which occurred on a public street in Oxnard, was captured on security camera video.

When officers made contact with Nichols, he was holding kitchen shears in his hand, and did not comply with numerous repeated requests by officers, calling him by his name, to drop the weapon. The mobile encounter between Nichols and the officers made its way to the 500 block of North ‘N’ Street, and then back to North Ventura Road at Doris Avenue.

During the encounter, officers deployed rounds from a less-lethal “bean bag” shotgun to subdue Nichols, and also made attempts with Tasers.

These attempts were unsuccessful.

While on Ventura Road near Doris Avenue, Nichols suddenly turned and advanced towards the officers, as he raised the scissors. At this instant, an officer-involved shooting occurred.

The officers’ gunfire struck and wounded Nichols, who fell to the ground. Despite being wounded by gunfire, Nichols would not release his grip on the scissors and even stood back up.

Sergeant Enrique Alvarez discharged his Taser, striking Nichols, but it was ineffective. Officer Mason Galindo then discharged his Taser, which was effective, and caused Nichols to fall to the ground again. Nichols released the shears and they fell to the ground directly next to him.

At one point, Nichols reached for the shears again and Sergeant Alvarez discharged his Taser a second time, which was effective. Once it was safe, officers were able to approach Nichols, secure the shears, and begin life-saving efforts as emergency medical services personnel approached from their staging point.

At the time of this news release, Nichols is being treated at a medical facility in Ventura County. Upon his release from treatment, Nichols is facing several criminal charges, including attempted murder (from the May 17 stabbing incident), as well as counts of assault with a deadly weapon upon a police officer.

Sergeant Enrique Alvarez and Officers Jesus Garcia, Alan Espino, Jon Castillo, Favian Flores, and Mason Galindo were among the Oxnard Police Department personnel who responded to the call. Officers Garcia and Espino discharged their firearms.

The involved officers’ tenures are listed as follows:

Sergeant Enrique Alvarez has been employed by the Oxnard Police Department since June 1997.

Officer Jesus Garcia has been employed by the Oxnard Police Department since October 2020.

Officer Alan Espino has been employed by the Oxnard Police Department since September 2022.

Officer Favian Flores has been employed by the Oxnard Police Department since December 2022.

Officer Jon Castillo has been an Oxnard police officer since August 2022. Prior to becoming an Oxnard police officer, he was a deputy with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for four years.

Officer Mason Galindo has been an Oxnard police officer since April 2019. Prior to becoming an Oxnard police officer, he was a deputy with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for almost two years.

All of the involved officers are assigned to the Oxnard Police Department’s Patrol Division. All of the involved officers completed Crisis Intervention Team training. None of the officers involved have been involved in a previous shooting incident.

At the time of this news release, all officers have been cleared to return to service in their respective assignments.

Chief Jason Benites stated: “As part of our commitment to transparency with our community, we believe it is important to share this video with the community we serve. This Critical Incident Community Briefing video provides a summary account of what occurred during the evening of May 26, including the sequence of events leading to the officer-involved shooting. Now that all of the involved personnel have been interviewed, we hope that sharing this video with the public will set straight any misinformation surrounding this incident. It is important to point out that the intent of this video is not to offer an opinion or analysis of what occurred. Please keep in mind that this is currently an active criminal investigation, so the information we can release is limited. More information, including all of the body worn camera video and the investigative reports, will be available to the public after the investigation is completed.”

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