Tracy Gaeta, 54, was shot and killed by a Stockton police officer after backing her car into a police vehicle, reported NBC News. Lawyers for her family say the officer used excessive force and that she never threatened anyone nor was she armed.
K-9 officer Kyle Ribera fired more than 30 shots into her car Feb. 22. The body camera footage of the incident was released April 7. The police department said the incident began when Gaeta was seen on surveillance striking a police SUV at a red light. She was pursued by Ribera, stopped at a dead end and backed into his car.
More on the incident from NBC News:
According to the body camera video, Ribera then fired 18 shots into Gaeta’s car.
Her vehicle’s reverse lights remained on, and Ribera fired several more shots. After changing his service weapon’s clip, Ribera yelled for the driver to raise their hands, according to the video.
Gaeta began driving, pulling forward several feet, then reversing away from Ribera. He opened fire again, shooting more than a dozen times, according to the video.
Gaeta was taken to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead, the department said.
According to a policy adopted by the Stockton Police Department in 2019, officers are “generally” prohibited from firing at fleeing vehicles.
Gaeta’s family attorney Gary Gwilliam said the officer acted against the department policies on firing at moving vehicles. “No matter what was going on with her — even if she had committed a heinous crime — he didn’t have the right to shoot her. She never threatened him,” he said via NBC.
A spokesman from the Stockton Police Department told NBC News a review of the incident was underway which will end in a decision by the local district attorney’s office on whether to place criminal charges against Ribera.
Gaeta’s daughter, Tressie, called her a “loving, caring grandmother” in a statement from Gwilliam’s office. “I hope that we can find justice because she did not deserve to die like that,” she said.