A man in San Jose, California is about to get a lot of money.
The man, Javier Gonzales-Guerrero, now 27-years old, was passed out drunk on the stairs of an Extended Stay Deluxe Hotel when police approached him to get him up. Guerrero was dressed up as a surgeon for Halloween, and had a gold toy gun tucked in his waistband as part of his costume.
When authorities arrived on the scene and attempted to wake the intoxicated Guerrero, they saw the toy gun, assumed it was real, and thought that he was reaching for it. Guerrero was shot more than 20 times by the officers, suffering from many injuries and having to undergo multiple surgeries to repair his “ravaged body.” He was just 25 at the time, and he miraculously survived the shooting because of the surgeries he underwent.
Guerrero filed a lawsuit with the city of San Jose not long after the incident, and the city has now settled for nearly $5 million.
According to the lawsuit, the police officers, who have been identified as Gary Petrakovitz, Tim Stephens, Brian Johst, and Mark Stephens, allegedly ignored Guerrero when he pleaded with them not to shoot.
Guerrero claimed that the officers acted as a result of poor training, but the San Jose assistant police chief disagreed, saying that the officers can’t just assume that a perceived firearm is a toy, and have to act on the situation in just seconds.
Officials have said that had the city not settled with Guerrero and actually gone to trial, they would have faced “considerable financial risk if a jury were to side with the plaintiff.”
The incident originally occurred in October of 2011, and the suit against the city was filed in July of 2012.