Trigger Warning: Violence, detailed account of gunshots, family witnessing murder.
Another tragedy in Arizona: 26 year-old former Marine Jose Guerena, who “served two tours in Iraq in 2003 and 2005 as part of the Yuma-based MWSS-173,” was killed by a SWAT team that fired 71 shots. Jose was hit 60 times.
One version of the story (Fox 11 AZ) never acknowledges him as a former Marine, merely an “adult male,” only mentions the wife and child to say they were unharmed, calls Mr. Guerena “heavily armed,” and state that there was a “deadly end Thursday to a SWAT standoff.” A “standoff” in which “Guerena did not fire a shot and his gun had the safety on, deputies said, after initially saying he had fired on the SWAT officers” (Dupnik won’t release more info about SWAT shooting of Tucson man, Arizona Daily Star).
Another version (Color Lines) is longer and more detailed, included quotes from Jose’s wife, Vanessa Guerena:
“‘Please send me an ambulance and you can ask more questions later, please,’ Guerena pleaded, but the dispatcher continued to ask her questions like whether the people outside were SWAT members. After the five-minute mark, Guerena’s end of the line went silent as her husband was face-down, no longer breathing.
The two dispatchers spent an additional four minutes talking to each other, still trying to figure out whether the call came from a residence where the warrant was served. At the end of the call, a dispatcher confirmed that Guerena was outside with deputies on the scene.”
The difference in these two accounts is terrifying. What is your news station not telling you? While it may be difficult to tell the whole truth in a brief news article, one left out key details, brushing off the incident and criminalizing Jose Guerena.
A third article gives a heartbreaking play-by-play of Jose’s murder (Arizona Daily Star), Vanessa’s panicked begging for help, of people talking outside the home, providing no assistance until it was far too late.
Where do we draw the lines between fact and fiction, truth and lies? Where are the lines between duty and excessive force? What would minutes, or even seconds, have bought for Jose and Vanessa?
Arizona SWAT Team Shoots Latino Former Marine Dozens of Times
Preview: “Police authorities in Pima County, Arizona are under fire this week after shooting a former Marine dozens of times during a SWAT team raid. Jose Guerena, a 26-year-old Tucson native, was shot and killed on May 5 during the raid. In total, more than 70 shots were fired, and Guerena was suffered a total of 60 wounds. What’s even worse is that Gerena’s wife spent more than five minutes pleading for help from emergency responders. Police officials still have not released information about why Guerena’s home was targeted.”
Tucson man shot in SWAT standoff
Fox 11 AZ
Preview: “The Pima County deputies trying to serve a search warrant at a home off Wade Road near Valencia were confronted by a heavily armed 26-year-old Jose Guerena.”
SWAT raid fatal drama is revealed in 911 call
Arizona Daily Star
Preview: “The wife of a Tucson man killed in a Pima County SWAT raid May 5 pleaded for five minutes with 911 dispatchers to send an ambulance for her mortally wounded husband, audio records show.
Often through tears and sometimes in broken English, Vanessa Guerena, tells 911 operators that her husband had been shot by a “bunch of people” who opened the door of their southwest-side home and “just shoot him.” Meanwhile, dispatchers worked to determine if she was calling from a house where the SWAT team was serving a search warrant, audio released Friday by Drexel Heights Fire Department reveals. It takes about an hour for waiting medics to know what happened, and the man is dead before fire crews are allowed into the home.
Jose Guerena, 26, a former Marine, was sleeping after the graveyard shift at Asarco Mission mine about 9:30 a.m. when his wife woke him saying she heard noises outside and a man was at their window. Guerena told his wife to hide in a closet with their 4-year-old son, his wife has said. He grabbed an AR-15 rifle and moments later was slumped in the kitchen, mortally wounded from a hail of gunfire.
For about five minutes after Guerena was shot, his wife stays on the phone trying to explain what happened and asking for an ambulance.”
In his supposed fight against terrorism, has Sheriff Clarence Dupnik in fact implemented terrorism himself? The Guerena family deserves answers, the truth, and justice. Tell Dupnik to fess up.
Contact Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik and tell him the tell the truth:
- 1750 E. Benson Highway
Tucson, AZ 85714-1758
Office: (520) 351-4600
Non-Emergency Line: (520) 351-4900
- SWAT officers’ 71 gunshots require an explanation (Arizona Daily Star)
- Arizona Man Jose Guerena Shot 60 Times During SWAT Raid (Opposing View)
- Drexel Heights Fire releases 911 call in SWAT shooting case (FOX11AZ.com)
- Pima County Sheriff’s Dept won’t release more info on fatal SWAT team shooting at Tucson home (The Republic)
- Dupnik won’t release more info about SWAT shooting of Tucson man (Arizona Daily Star)