FREMONT — Police on Friday released an edited compilation of videos showing a man detectives were tracking being attacked by a police dog and fatally shot by two officers in a hotel parking lot on April 1 after authorities said he pointed a gun at them and yelled “kill me.”
Police said officers Grant Goepp and Josh Harvey killed the man, Stephen Patrick Moseley, 36, of Fremont, following a tense 25-second confrontation that started when Moseley was seen leaving the Hyatt Place hotel parking lot at 3101 W. Warren Ave., and began running away from undercover officers.
Goepp has six years of experience with the department and Harvey 11 years, police said. Both were working as a part of the department’s recently formed “gun violence reduction team” when they shot Moseley.
In the video, police Officer Christopher Haugh sends a police dog named Karo after Moseley as he runs from officers.
The dog latches onto Moseley’s arm, and he falls to the ground of the hotel parking lot while other officers besides those who had chased him arrive simultaneously in unmarked police vehicles. At that point a total of 11 officers were at the scene, police said.
As Moseley struggled with the dog on the pavement, flailing his arms and legs, he “began to punch the police K9 multiple times and pointed the gun at the dog’s head,” police Chief Kimberly Petersen says in the video.
Police said officers saw a silver gun in his hand and multiple officers yelled to alert each other of the weapon and commanded Moseley to drop it.
Petersen says in the video that Moseley “pointed the silver firearm twice at detectives who were in close proximity.” Moseley can be heard yelling “kill me” repeatedly at officers, she adds.
Goepp, “fearing the suspect would shoot at him or other officers, fired his department-issued firearm at Moseley,” Petersen says.
“Simultaneously, detective Harvey also saw Moseley point the firearm toward him and toward other officers. He, too, fired his department-issued firearm at Mosley,” she says.
A total of nine shots were fired by police, seven by Goepp and two by Harvey, police said.
Petersen said in an interview Friday that the officers intended to take Moseley into custody safely and they “acted completely appropriately” to defend themselves and each other, giving Moseley a chance to surrender.
“Rather than saying, ‘Yeah, OK I give up,’ he pulled out a gun, he beat the K9 over the head with it, he started pointing it at the officers yelling ‘kill me, kill me,’ ” Petersen told this news organization.
She noted some officers initially moved closer to Moseley in an attempt to arrest him until seeing the gun and then retreated.
“It is pretty clear to me that Stephen Moseley had no intention of giving up,” she said in an interview.
“The officers are not expendable. We do not expect our officers to actually be shot at before defending themselves,” she said. “We don’t send officers into suicide missions.”
Police said officers found a loaded .25 caliber handgun, later determined to be stolen, on Moseley, along with 2.5 ounces of suspected methamphetamine. Police were aiming to arrest him on outstanding warrants for car theft, drug possession with intent to sell, and a weapon possession probation violation.
Petersen said Moseley had prior arrests for several crimes involving stolen vehicles, drug possession and sales, multiple firearm possessions, home invasion, burglary, fighting with police, fleeing from police, and assault with a deadly weapon.
Goepp and Harvey are now back on duty, police said.
The April 1 shooting marked the third police shooting by Fremont officers this year, and the second one that was fatal.
On March 24, police said Officer Brian Burch dived down a grassy highway shoulder embankment to dodge gunfire from a man who tried to flee police in a stolen car, before Burch turned around and fatally shot the man.
On Feb. 9, following the pursuit of a stolen vehicle, Fremont police officers Andrew Dennis and Jeffrey Carter shot at a teenage suspect they said fired multiple rounds at them while the officers were chasing a group of minors near the Newark baylands. Neither the suspect nor the officers were hit by gunfire in that incident.
Police said they are seeing an uptick in gun violence, with 12 through March of this year compared to 19 in all of 2020.
In a recent community meeting, Capt. Sean Washington said the gun violence reduction team was formed to address the issue.
“It’s made up of highly competent and highly-trained criminal investigators, and they have an advanced understanding of policy, deescalation techniques, restraint and alternative tactics, as well as use-of-force options,” he said.
In the brief moments leading up to the April 1 shooting, police sirens can be heard and several officers are shouting information and commands to each other and Moseley.
Haugh can be heard repeatedly yelling a command that police said was instructing his dog Karo to release from Moseley, though the dog did not release and continued to thrash at Moseley’s arms even after he had been shot.
Petersen says in the video that Haugh tried multiple times to activate a shock collar the dog wears that’s intended to get it to pay attention to its handler if it is ignoring commands, but that did not work. Petersen said police think the collar may have malfunctioned.
It has been replaced, and the dog has been “retrained and re-certified,” she said.
In 2017, Fremont police officer James Taylor sicced his police dog Cairo on Nana Adomako, who was fighting with Taylor in front of his police car, but Cairo bit the officer instead of Adomako. Taylor turned his attention briefly to the dog, and then was punched in the head by Adomako.
Taylor said in interviews with investigators he felt that he might pass out if hit again, so fearing for his life he pulled his gun and shot Adomako three times.
Cairo was also put through updated training and re-certified after the incident, police spokeswoman Geneva Bosques said. The dog was taken off duty in 2019, police said.