Bay Area college athlete who disarmed suspect shot by cops

A Bay Area college football player who disarmed a gunman was shot by police at a San Jose taqueria early Sunday, police confirmed.

At about 3 am Sunday, 20-year-old Oakland resident K’aun Green was eating at La Victoria Taqueria with his friend when a separate group started harassing him, attorney Adante Pointer told KGO on Tuesday.

One of the members of the group was in possession of a ghost gun, KGO reported, when an altercation broke out between the two groups. Green took the gun away from the member of the group, and was holding the weapon when officers arrived on the scene.

San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata, at a news conference Tuesday, alleged that the victim was repeatedly asked to drop the gun before he shot. (Mata did not identify Green or anyone else involved in the dispute during the conference.)

But Pointer, in an interview with KGO, disputed that claim — saying that Green was backing down as the officer yelled and shot at Green “within less than a second.” He added that he and Green plan to file a suit against the police department.

“He is a hero and should be treated as such!” Point wrote on Twitter on Monday. “He disarmed a man that was threatening folks. He didn’t deserve to be shot.” (Pointer’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from SFGATE.)

Green was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries in his abdomen, arm and leg. He is a defensive end for Contra Costa College’s varsity football team, according to 247Sports.

The individual who brought the gun into La Victoria was later arrested on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm, Mata said Tuesday.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo defended police Tuesday afternoon, shortly before the news conference, writing on Twitter “that this is a tragic conflation of circumstances.”

“None of us want to be the person to decide — in a fraction of a second — whether to pull that trigger, but the burden of making that decision falls upon the police officer,” he wrote.

A joint investigation of the incident is underway with the San Jose police and the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, Mata said in the press conference.

The officer who shot Green worked for San Jose police for four years, and is currently on administrative leave. Footage from body cameras will be released 45 days after the shooting, per California law.

Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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