Jose Guerena

On May 5, 2011, a Pima County Sheriff’s Department SWAT team killed Jose Guerena in his Tucson, Arizona home while executing a warrant to search his home as part of a drug investigation, specifically into a marijuana ring.  Guerena was a former U.S. Marine veteran who had served two tours in the Iraq War and just gone to bed after workinJoseGuerenag a night shift in a local mine.

As the officers broke down the front door, Guerena was awoken by his terrified wife, Vanessa, screaming that the house was being broken into.  Vanessa, holding their four year son, feared for their lives believing that gunmen were breaking into their home – understandable as the previous year two members of her sister-in-law’s family had been murdered in their own home in Tucson.

Jose had Vanessa and their son hide in a closet as he ran into the long hallway with his rifle to investigate, the safety still on.

Immediately upon seeing Guerena enter the hallway, the officers opened fire.  Within seconds at least 71 shots were fired at Guerena, who was hit dozens of times.

Despite Vanessa’s desperate pleas for medical assistance for her husband, the officers did not allow any medical aid for over an hour.

No drugs or other evidence of any illegal activities were found in the home nor was Guerena involved in the suspected drug ring.

Guerena casings
Evidence tags showing spent shell casings. Photo Credit: Hipolito Corella, Arizona Daily Star

Video of the raid from the Pima County Sheriff’s Department: