California man blasted with fire hose & fatally shot by police identified (GRAPHIC VIDEO)
The incident began around 11:15pm Sunday, when City of Orange Police attempted to stop Michael Anthony Perez, who was driving a white GMC van with a broken tail light. Officers discovered a warrant associated with the license plate, according to statements from Police Sergeant Rob Thorsen.
Initially, Perez refused to comply, but eventually, he did pull over in the parking lot of a strip mall in Anaheim.
When officers made contact with Perez, he refused to exit the vehicle and barricaded himself in the vehicle with a gas can and a lighter, police said. Then Perez poured some gas onto a rag and lit a cigarette.
Breaking News: Officer Involved Shooting pic.twitter.com/DkvnNaSFZm— Orange PD (@OrangePolice) March 13, 2017
“At this point, the officers were no longer concerned about the traffic ticket,” Orange Police lieutenant Fred Lopez said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“It was, do we have a suicide? Do we have other incendiary devices inside the vehicle? That’s why a plan was devised to get him out of the vehicle.”
Police called the Orange City Fire Department and requested an engine to assist them. Several officers distracted Perez, while others got into position around the car and smashed his windows with their batons.
Police then pointed a fire hose into the car, spraying high-pressurized water to force Perez out.
"I've been here for 22 years. I don't know that I've ever even heard of a plan like this. I think it was an excellent idea to use the water to prevent him from lighting himself on fire," Lopez told KABC.
Police say when Perez finally climbed out through the driver’s side window, he was armed with a knife.
A news release from the Orange Police Department says that they attempted to use “less lethal munition,” but they were not effective in subduing Perez.
One officer fired a single shot, which hit Perez in the torso. Perez was treated on the scene by the fire department before being transported to a local hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Warning: This video contains graphic content
Update on Officer Involved Shooting. Suspect identified as 33 year old Michael Anthony Perez. pic.twitter.com/mxT5sokzx6— Orange PD (@OrangePolice) March 13, 2017
In the press release confirming Perez’s identity, police say Perez had an “extensive criminal history, which included weapons violations and narcotics.”
Perez was later identified by his sister, Lovina Perez, who told KTLA, "He is not just another person shot by the police, he is a son, brother, and father."
Perez’s widow told reporters at KABC that he had been living in the van for over a year, and was addicted to methamphetamine. She said that Perez had told her that he wanted to die.
The Orange County District Attorney's Office is currently investigating the incident with the help of the police.