Police mistake partially disassembled toy with orange tip for real firearm
January 8, 2014
Newly released information has shed light on the Sunday death of a
Yakima, Wash. man who was shot and killed in his vehicle after police
mistook his dissembled airsoft gun for a real firearm.
According to statements from Department Spokesman Capt. Rod Light,
Yakima Police Officer Casey Gilette observed a “suspicious” vehicle
parked outside a 24-hour car wash while on a routine 3 a.m. patrol.
After reportedly surveying the situation for one hour, Gilette
decided to approach the vehicle, occupied by 23-year-old Rocendo Arias.
“Approached on foot on the driver’s side, moved around the vehicle to
the passenger side of the vehicle,” Light explained to the KNDU News.
Instead of knocking on Arias’ window to further investigate the
situation, Light admits the officer swung the passenger side door open
without informing the driver. After noticing the disassembled gun,
Gilette fired four shots, striking Arias once in the head.
“It appeared that he had some accessories to the handgun that he was
trying to install on it or put pieces of this gun together,” Capt. Light