Newly released surveillance footage shows an off-duty police officer opening fire on another man following a heated dispute in a strip mall parking lot in Vallejo, California.
The officer, identified as Virgil Thomas, claims he was acting in self-defense during the incident, which occurred on November 10, 2019. He said that the victim, Eric Reason, was armed with a gun and threatened him and his wife.
The city of Vallejo released four different videos from the shooting. In the videos, Thomas pulls into an empty parking spot as Reason is leaving a gas station pump. Reason, who was planning to pull into the space, parked his van behind Thomas' car and the two men got out and started arguing. They got in each other's faces before Reason went back to his van and popped the hood of his vehicle. He grabbed a rag and what appears to be a handgun and walked back toward Thomas.
Thomas then pulled out his own weapon and started shooting. As Reason ran away, Thomas continued to fire, fatally wounding him.
While Thomas claims the shooting was justified, Reason's family believes he should be charged with murder.
Thomas was not arrested but was placed on administrative leave while officials investigate the circumstances of the shooting.