San Bernardino County District Attorney officials said today two Upland Police officers were in reasonable fear for their lives when they shot a man who had fled when they attempted to detain him in connection with a shooting at a park.
Jacob Kispi Katoa, 19, who had moved to Upland from Utah in 2012, was shot seven times primarily in the thighs and scrotum. D.A. investigators said one bullet was removed from Katoa’s scrotum and placed into evidence. He survived the shooting.
According to a report generated by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s for the District Attorney’s office, Katoa placed the officers in danger by running from them and then pointing a handgun at them, “thereby committing at minimum an assault on the police officers and arguably an attempted murder of those officers.”
The incident started at 8:46 p.m. on Oct. 5, 2012. Officers were called to Memorial Park in the 1300 block of San Bernardino Road on a report of shots fired. Witnesses told responding officers a Somaon or Tongan man with a bushy pony tail had opened fire following a verbal argument with a group skateboarders at the park, according to the report, according to the report.
The fight reportedly occurred at the skate park. Witnesses said a man, later identified at Katoa, pulled the gun out and fired into the air.
When officers searched the area, they found Katoa with two other men at the intersection of San Bernardino Road and Foothill Boulevard. Officers ordered the men to the ground. Two complied but officers said Katoa told them he had already been stopped and questioned by police and did not need to talk to them again, according to the report.
He then ran away, officials said. The report does mention that the men were stopped and released by a different officer.
Katoa was chased into the parking lot of the Super Max Storage in the 9300 block of Foothill in Rancho Cucamonga. Officers said Katoa turned toward them and went into a crouch position with his gun pointed at the officers. Both officials immediately fired their duty weapons.
When questioned, officials said Katoa denied pointing the weapon at the officers and said they fired on him from behind. He also reportedly told investigators that he had the weapon because he and his group where headed to a party that would be attended by Hispanics who did not like him. The gun was reportedly for protection, officials said.
“When asked if his wounds would be determined to be from the front and if he knew there were two witnesses in parking lot, Katoa stated that he wanted an attorney,” officials wrote.