Under the terms of a settlement announced last week, the family of former Marine and Iraq war veteran Jose Guerena will receive $3.4 million from the various police agencies involved in his death. The bulk of the settlement, $2.35 million, will come from Pima County, Ariz. Despite the settlement, the county admits no wrongdoing, and none of the officers involved have been fired or disciplined. The towns of Marana, Oro Valley and Sahuarita also had officers on the raid team, and will pay the remaining $1.05 million.
On May 5, 2011, the SWAT team, primarily from the Pima County Sheriff's Department, raided the home of Guerena, a 26-year-old father of two. Guerena was asleep at the time, along with his wife Vanessa and their 4-year-old son. According to Guerena's wife, he woke to the sounds of men breaking into his home and believed they were home invaders, the family's attorney says. Guerena rushed his family into a closet, then grabbed his rifle. When police smashed open the door, they saw him with his weapon and opened fire, unleashing a barrage of 71 bullets. They initially claimed to have seen a muzzle flash from Guerena's gun, but ballistics tests later show his gun was never fired. In fact, the former soldier still had the gun's safety engaged, the police report states. A video of the raid shows roughly 38 seconds expired from the time the police briefly sounded a siren upon pulling into Guerena's driveway until they shot him. The family's home was riddled with bullets. Neighboring houses were hit as well.
Read this article at The Agitator.