Raw Video Shows Fatal Arizona SWAT Shooting

The man shot and killed by SWAT officers, as well as his brother and another man, were listed as suspects in a complex drug investigation being conducted by the Sheriff's Department.


The man shot and killed by SWAT officers, as well as his brother and another man, were listed as suspects in a complex drug investigation being conducted by the Sheriff's Department, according to documents released Thursday.

That investigation was the reason heavily armed SWAT officers went to Jose Guerena's house to serve a search warrant that ended in his fatal shooting May 5, reports show.

More than 500 pages of officers' statements, evidence lists and witness interviews were released by the Pima County Sheriff's Department. Also released were audiotapes from the shooting scene, radio transmissions and other communications made by law enforcement personnel during the serving of search warrants on four homes on the southwest side.

A short video showing Pima County Regional SWAT team members serving the warrant was also released. The written documents detail what sheriff's personnel did during the incident.

The short video recording shows that deputies approaching Jose Guerena's home turned the sirens on for a few seconds as they approached. It also shows them announcing themselves, then knocking down the front door and firing their guns.

Audiotapes reveal that no SWAT officers entered Guerena's house. Law enforcement officers went into his home only after a robot was sent in and it was determined about an hour after the shooting that Guerena, a former Marine, was dead.

The reports state Jose Guerena; his brother, Alejandro; and Jose Celaya were named as suspects in briefings given to officers before the search warrants were served. Many of the officers' reports refer to the sheriff's long-term drug investigation as the reason for the search warrants.

Reports show about $100,000 in cash, marijuana and firearms were seized that morning from the four homes that were searched.

Items found in Jose Guerena's house included: a Colt .38-caliber handgun, paperwork, tax returns, insurance papers, bank statements and a bank card, reports showed.

Another report said detectives found body armor in a hallway closet and a U.S. Border Patrol hat in the garage.

Some search warrant documents remained sealed and were not released Thursday.

Dramatic video

In the video released by the Sheriff's Department, about five SWAT team members are seen jumping out of the vehicle with shields, helmets and bulletproof vests, all marked "POLICE" across the front and back. The sirens stop and the officers begin shouting "Police, search warrant, open the door," alternating with the same command in Spanish three times before they break down the front door of Guerena's house.

A couple of seconds after the door is opened, one officers says, "Hit him," and all the officers begin shooting from the doorway.

One of the officers falls down a couple of seconds after they open fire, and then all SWAT team members back away from the door, the video shows.

The Sheriff's Department said previously that Guerena pointed an AR-15 rifle at officers as they entered the home. It was determined that Guerena did not fire at officers.

At 9:34 a.m., the audiotapes reveal that SWAT officers began what would be about 30 minutes of repeating in English and Spanish: "It's the Pima County Sheriff's Department SWAT team. Anyone inside the house, come out with your hands up, no weapons in your hands."

Michael Storie, an attorney representing the five SWAT officers who shot at Guerena, said last week that all those officers were separated immediately after the shooting so they could be interviewed and provide objective statements of what happened. The audiotapes reveal that after about 45 minutes, all the SWAT officers are together. They can be heard talking about what happened, according to tape recordings made at the scene.

"That was um, like a movie, the way he jumped out," said the SWAT team leader.

"Well, he waited, he waited and once Hector came up ..." said another SWAT member just before being interrupted by the SWAT leader who said, "What did he say?" Hector is the name of one of the SWAT officers.

This content continues onto the next page...
  • Enhance your experience.

    Thank you for your regular readership of and visits to Officer.com. To continue viewing content on this site, please take a few moments to fill out the form below and register on this website.

    Registration is required to help ensure your access to featured content, and to maintain control of access to content that may be sensitive in nature to law enforcement.