OC DA Clears Newport Beach Cops in Deadly 7-Eleven Shooting
The shooting happened at a 7-Eleven like this one
When Gerrit Vos visited a friend in Newport Beach on May 27 this year, nothing out of the ordinary happened. But when the 22-year-old returned to his pal's apartment two days later at night, he started acting strange. Vos, a schizophrenic who battled drug addiction for years, screamed "Come and get me!" to no one in particular. His friend lent him a skateboard to ride off on and clear his mind.
Vos coasted on the borrowed board to a nearby 7-Eleven convenience store. A half-hour later, two Newport Beach policemen shot Vos dead with AR-15 semi-assault rifles.
According to a report released by the Orange County District Attorney's (OCDA) office, Vos entered the 7-Eleven around 8:15 p.m. acting erratically and hiding in aisles. Witnesses say Vos remained convinced someone was out to kill him. He grabbed a screwdriver from a store shelf, chased a patron out to the parking lot and threw the tool at him.
When Vos came back inside the 7-Eleven, store clerks called police. Grabbing a pair of scissors, Vos jumped the counter and grabbed one of the clerks. Fearing his co-worker was about to get stabbed, the other clerk tried to wrest the scissors from Vos' hands, suffering a cut hand for his efforts.
Newport Beach police officer Dave Kresge arrived on scene soon after. The two clerks managed to escape. Vos wrapped his hand in his clothing to make it seem like he had a gun, but Kresge could tell he wasn't armed and didn't fire.
When backup arrived, Vos bolted out a side door with two metal display hooks in hand. Officer Andrew Shen fired a less-than-lethal projectile at him but he kept running towards the officers. Armed with AR-15s, officers Richard Henry and Nathan Ferris fired four times each, striking Vos to the ground. Paramedics rushed the man to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana where he died at 10:18 p.m.
In a voluntary statement to OCDA investigators, Henry said he believed Vos to be armed with scissors as he charged at police. Ferris added that he held an object in a stabbing position. That was good enough for the OCDA.
"The level of force used by officers Henry and Farris was legally justifiable," the report reads. With no charges to file, the OCDA closed its investigation into the shooting.
As always, read the report in its entirety online.
Follow Gabriel San Román on Twitter @gsanroman2
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