Arizona SWAT Team Shoots Latino Former Marine Dozens of Times

Now, authorities won't release information on what led to the raid on 26-year-old Jose Guerena's Arizona home.

By Thoai Lu May 17, 2011

Police authorities in Pima County, Arizona are under fire this week after shooting a former Marine dozens of times during a SWAT team raid. Jose Guerena, a 26-year-old Tucson native, was shot and killed on May 5 during the raid. In total, more than 70 shots were fired, and Guerena was suffered a total of 60 wounds. What’s even worse is that Gerena’s wife spent more than five minutes pleading for help from emergency responders. Police officials still have not released information about why Guerena’s home was targeted.

The Arizona Daily Star reported Saturday that Guerena, 26 was alarmed by his wife at about 9:30 a.m., when he was sleeping after a graveyard shift, that she heard noises outside and a man was at their window. Guerena grabbed a AR-15 rifle and was mortally wounded by authorities.

Vanessa Guerena tearfully told 911 operators that her husband had been shot by a "bunch of people" who came into their home. During the five-minute call, dispatchers worked to determine if she was calling from a residence where the SWAT team was serving a search warrant. Audio records show that Drexel Heights Fire Department dispatched a medical unit at 9:43 a.m., but the Sheriff Department told them to hold off because they might be dealing with a "barricaded subject."

After more than a week since the raid, deputies have not commented on details about the investigation and the search warrant that brought the SWAT team to the Guerena home, shared by the couple and their two young sons, in the first place. The Sheriff’s Department initially said Guerena fired at officers, but they retracted that statement this week.

About a minute into the 911 call, the operator asked Vanessa Guerena whether there were law enforcement officers at her house, to which she said yes, that they had came into her kitchen, shot her husband and pointed a gun at her.

"Please send me an ambulance and you can ask more questions later, please," Guerena pleaded, but the dispatcher continued to ask her questions like whether the people outside were SWAT members. After the five-minute mark, Guerena’s end of the line went silent as her husband was face-down, no longer breathing.

The two dispatchers spent an additional four minutes talking to each other, still trying to figure out whether the call came from a residence where the warrant was served. At the end of the call, a dispatcher confirmed that Guerena was outside with deputies on the scene.

Three other homes within a quarter mile of the Guerena house were served search warrants that morning, and their identities have not been made to public.