San Benito residents shocked by shooting

San Benito residents on McCullough Street described the unique sounds of shots fired Wednesday night as, not like fireworks or sporadic " (they) were like pow, pow, pow, pow."

"They were like paz, paz, paz - like one after the other, there were like 5 or 6," Ruby Portales said.

The shots came from a San Benito police officer trying to stop four suspects fleeing in a vehicle, despite his commands for them to stop.

According to San Benito Police, the officer who has not been identified, responded to a call for help after a fight broke out right by the Dr. Cash Elementary School playground, just past 7 p.m.

"They were practicing for a quincenera, and that's all I know, there were just kids," Portales said.

San Benito Inv. Rogelio Banda said they are reviewing dash-cam videos and other evidence to determine what exactly led up to the shooting after the officer arrived on scene.

"The officer got out of his patrol unit, ordered the driver to stop, the vehicle continued to move forward, it was then that the officer discharged his weapon," Banda said.

The ordeal all unfolded right in front of Armando Weaver's house. He said there were dozens of kids around the playground at that time.

It's still unknown if the officer's life was in danger, but Weaver said he's not sure shooting at the fleeing vehicle was the right call.

"In not sure which way he was firing - that way towards the kids or this way towards where I got my family, Weaver said. I guess the police officer though it was necessary, but I think it was kind of reckless."

The suspects fled, crashed into a parked truck on East Frances Street, abandoned their vehicle in an ally and took off on foot.

Police add the suspects have family and friends in the area that may have provided a getaway vehicle for them.

Now, the search is on for a green suburban.

While police continue their investigation, longtime resident Alicia Garcia said the police officer was just doing his job.

"I do think it was dangerous because there's families and kids around, but at the same time he was just doing his job trying to protect us, the community, Garcia said.