Footage released of suspected fentanyl dealer shot and killed by gang task force in Hemet – San Bernardino Sun

Authorities identified a man shot and killed in January by law enforcement agents investigating reports that he was selling fentanyl at a hotel in Hemet, and released footage of the shooting Wednesday, March 9.

Joseph Tracy IV, 20, of Colton was shot by members of the Riverside County Gang Impact Team at about 11:30 p.m. on Jan. 18, Sheriff Chad Bianco said in a critical incident video posted to YouTube. He was suspected of dealing fentanyl, and was staying at a hotel on the 2600 block of West Florida Avenue at the time.

Members of the Sheriff’s Department as well as the Riverside and Hemet police departments were positioned outside of the hotel that evening. They waited for Tracy to exit the building and tried to detain him, but he ran from them.

Deputies and officers told Tracy to show his hands. They fired less-lethal foam projectiles at him as he fled.

“He’s reaching!” a deputy is heard repeatedly shouting while running after Tracy in video recorded by his body-worn camera. “I don’t know what he’s reaching for,” he added.

Tracy is seen rounding a corner and apparently seeking cover in a row of parked cars. Footage recorded by a security camera in a high location several yards away from the scene of the shooting shows Tracy trip and fall while running around the trunk of a vehicle. He gets up and walks between two cars that obscure him from the camera’s view before members of the gang task force fire multiple rounds at him.

A view of the shooting recorded from the deputy’s perspective is obscured by items blocking the lens of his body-worn camera at the moment shots ring out. Tracy was struck and killed.

Fentanyl, a TASER Pulse and a 9mm handgun were found at the scene. The gun was a “ghost gun,” a firearm assembled from parts and lacking a serial number, which was loaded with six rounds in its magazine and a seventh chambered. He was on probation, and prohibited from having a gun.

The shooting was being investigated by the California Attorney General’s office under the authority of a law passed in 2020. Known as AB 1506, it requires the state to investigate the shooting of unarmed civilians by police.

Sheriff’s officials did not say exactly where the gun was found or whether Tracy had it when he was chased through the parking lot.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department as well as the Riverside and Hemet Police Departments are also conducting internal reviews of the tactics and decisions made on the night of the shooting.

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