Port Police release footage of shooting of gunman outside headquarters

Port Port Police
Video from an officer’s body worn camera shows the suspect with what appears to be a gun in his right hand. Authorities opened fire on the man moments later after warning him to drop the gun. Photo Credit: Screenshot, San Diego Port Police via YouTube

Authorities released video of a three-person shootout on Thursday Harbor Police personnel of a man who allegedly threatened them with a gun outside their headquarters.

Eric Jesus Medina, 29, survived the shooting, which occurred when he allegedly pointed a handgun in the direction of Officer James Macmaster, before Lt. Victor Banuelos and Sgt. Scott Ferraioli came to help their colleague.

The trio shot Medina outside the Port Police Base in the 3300 block of North Harbor Drive on the afternoon of April 10, according to the Port of San Diego. The law enforcement agency patrols the lands of the port.

Video cameras mounted inside and outside the building and a scope by Macmaster captured footage of the shooting, some of which was published on YouTube.

Officers fired about three dozen rounds. Macmaster and Ferraioli each reloaded during the incident. It remains unclear whether Medina returned fire, although investigators found a live ammunition in the chamber of his gun and an expended cartridge in his barrel, port officials said.

The events leading up to the barrage of gunfire began around 1:30 p.m., when Medina parked in front of the headquarters building, walked to its main entrance and used a public call box on its facade to ask help.

“Hello. I was wondering if you could help me out here right out front?” Medina asked, as seen in footage released on Thursday.

When the emergency operator, who identifies himself as David, asks Medina what kind of help he needs, the man doesn’t answer and turns away from the phone booth.

In the next part of the footage, this time from cameras mounted on the building with no audio, Macmaster leaves headquarters to check on the situation. He then quickly retreats behind a pillar while using a radio on his shoulder to call for help. Medina is not visible.

Other footage, this time from Macmaster’s body-worn camera, shows Medina sitting in a gray Honda Civic, which he had moved just across from the entrance to the police station.

When Macmaster called to ask if he needed to talk, Medina said he did, then allegedly pointed a black gun at Macmaster through the open driver’s side window. This prompted the vigilante to hastily retreat.

“He has a gun,” Macmaster said, urgently but calmly. “He has a gun.”

While waiting for backup, Macmaster yelled and swore, ordering the suspect to drop the gun and raise his hands. At one point, Medina brings her hands back into the vehicle before aiming the gun at the officer again.

Macmaster, joined by Ferraioli, who emerged, began firing at the suspect and Banuelos discharged his duty firearm from inside the building’s lobby, Port Police officials said. The gunshots, according to the timestamp on the YouTube post, last almost continuously for 28 seconds.

“Units exercise caution coming in front of HQ,” Ferraioli orders other authorities coming to their aid, as Macmaster says, “I’m fine, I’m not hit.”

Wounded by “several” gunshots, Medina was taken into custody, according to a statement from the port police.

Paramedics took the suspect to a trauma center, where he was admitted in critical condition.

Medina was arraigned in hospital last week for assaulting law enforcement officers with a deadly weapon. He has since been moved to San Diego Central Jail, where he is being held without bail pending trial.

– Staff and son reports