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Martinez officers shoot, kill unarmed person while responding to cannabis shop burglary

MARTINEZ – Four Martinez police officers shot and killed an unarmed person after responding to a report of a burglary at a cannabis dispensary early Friday morning, police and the state attorney general's office said.

The shooting occurred shortly after 3:30 a.m. when officers responded to an alarm set off at the Velvet dispensary at 4808 Sunrise Drive. Police were told multiple people and two vehicles were at the business, Martinez Police Chief Andrew White said in a news release.

White said in the news release that after officers arrived, "one of the vehicles, described as a white SUV, fled the scene. Officers broadcast that shots were fired and there was an assault on an officer. The second vehicle attempted to flee and then crashed into a fire hydrant. The two occupants of the vehicle were transported to the hospital."

The initial news release did not specify who fired shots, but White later clarified that four officers opened fire and that one of the people taken to the hospital died. The names of the person who died and the four officers were not immediately available, and police did not provide the condition of the other person hospitalized.

The police chief said the California Department of Justice was notified of the shooting and is leading the investigation in accordance with Assembly Bill 1506, a law that requires the state to investigate all police shootings that result in the death of an unarmed civilian.

The four officers who opened fire have been placed on administrative leave, White said.

White said an officer was also taken to a hospital for what is believed to be a minor injury, but the chief did not clarify how the officer was injured.

The investigation into the shooting has shut down the surrounding area since the early morning, and the Velvet dispensary also remained closed late Friday afternoon.


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