The Coast News Group
A screenshot depicting the juvenile male with a ghost gun in his hand attempting to flee from Carlsbad Police officers. Screenshot
A video still depicting a juvenile male holding a gun while attempting to flee from Carlsbad Police officers. Screenshot
CarlsbadCarlsbad FeaturedCitiesCrimeCrimeNews

Carlsbad police releases video of officer-involved shooting of teen

The Carlsbad Police Department released a video Wednesday evening “intended to provide an overview of the circumstances” related to the non-fatal, officer-involved shooting of a teenage male last month near Carlsbad State Beach.  

The video, which includes bodycam footage from two Carlsbad police officers, depicts the events starting at approximately 12:45 a.m. on Sept. 9, when Officer Marcos Bocanegra reported noticing a white truck driving recklessly near the intersection of Carlsbad Boulevard and Palomar Airport Road.

Upon arriving at the scene, Bocanegra and the other officer found a group of young people — one adult and four teenage males — inside the truck with alcoholic beverages.

While the officers were giving directions to the group, a juvenile male exited the front passenger side of the truck without law enforcement permission, prompting Bocanegra to tell the subject to get back in the vehicle. The suspect did not comply with his directive and started to reach under the vehicle’s passenger seat. An officer can be heard in the video repeatedly warning the suspect, “Do not reach under the seat.”

The juvenile suspect pulled a firearm out from underneath the seat, prompting an officer to yell “Gun” three times. The juvenile suspect then turned while pointing the gun toward Bocanegra, who responded by firing a single round from his service weapon

The suspect exits the vehicle without instruction from law enforcement. Shortly after being told to get back inside the vehicle, the suspect reached under the seat for a gun. Screenshot
The suspect exits the vehicle without law enforcement’s permission. Shortly after being told to return to the vehicle, the suspect reached under the seat for a gun. Screenshot

The teenage boy was struck in the arm with a non-life-threatening bullet wound before he fled the scene, running toward the ocean and jumping down a nearby bluff, dropping the firearm in the process. The officers descended the bluff and provided medical aid to the injured teenager by applying a tourniquet to his wound before transporting him to the hospital, where he recovered from his injuries.

The suspect, whose name has not been released due to his age, is facing charges of assault with a deadly weapon, resisting arrest and possessing a firearm.

The gun, which was recovered atop some nearby ice plants on the bluff face, was a loaded polymer 80-type firearm, otherwise known as a “ghost gun,” a non-serialized and unregistered firearm, according to Carlsbad police. 

Carlsbad police

Carlsbad police
Drone footage taken the following morning shows where the suspect and gun were found. Screenshots

In addition to showing body camera footage from both officers at the scene, the video features text, graphics and drone footage for context. The San Diego Police Department’s Homicide Unit is conducting an independent investigation of the incident, which the District Attorney’s Office will review upon completion.

The FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office will also be monitoring the investigation. 

A countywide memorandum of understanding signed in 2022 allows “transparent and independent criminal investigations and reviews of all officer-involved shootings, use of force incidents resulting in death, and ‘in custody’ related deaths occurring outside of the jail setting.” 

This is the first time the Carlsbad Police Department has undergone an investigation of this nature since the memorandum was signed. In addition to SDPD’s criminal investigation, the Carlsbad Police Department is conducting an internal administrative investigation. 

Read more local crime news here, including Weekly Crime Reports and Daily Arrest Logs for up-to-the-minute arrest reports in North County. 

1 comment

Greg October 12, 2023 at 8:40 pm

Very good job under extremely difficult and potentially dangerous conditions. Just as important, great job of releasing data and photos in an orderly manner. I am proud of my city and the Carlsbad P.D.

Leave a Comment