On the morning of May 5th, a Tucson-based SWAT team, attempting to serve a search warrant, approached the southwest-side home where Jose and Vanessa Guerena lived. Moments later, after firing at Jose 71 times through the door of his home, he lay dying.
Jose Guerena was not named on the search warrant, not known to be a suspect in any crime, and not committing any crime when he was shot. He was a Marine, with no criminal record, who served two tours of duty in Iraq. The controversial shooting and violent death of the family man and war veteran have caused a considerable controversy in Tucson.
How did this happen? Why was Jose targeted? Why did no one let paramedics attend to him after he was shot?
The lawyer hired by the 5 SWAT team shooters has taken the offensive against the confusion and sympathy local Arizona communities have felt over the shooting and for the Guerenas. Michael Storie has decided that everyone better know that Jose Guerena was a bad guy.
Ignoring his good reputation, Storie has done his best to lay the blame for Jose’s death at Jose’s feet.
The man shot and killed by Pima County SWAT officers was linked to a home-invasion crew, the attorney representing the officers said Thursday.
Michael Storie said authorities found rifles, hand guns, body armor and a portion of a law enforcement uniform inside the house where Jose Guerena was shot by officers serving a search warrant May 5.
This is a new story. Originally, law enforcement said the Guerena home was targeted as part of a group of drug-related search warrants.
“Everything they think they’re going to find in there they find,” said Storie in a news conference called a day after the Sheriff’s Department complained media reports on the incident spread misinformation and encouraged speculation about events surrounding the shooting.
Storie seems to be saying everything went as expected. While it’s entirely possible Jose was part of a home invasion crew, friends and family are shocked by the idea. Jose was awakened by SWAT after coming home from a 12 hour shift working at a copper mine.
The five officers had “no choice but to shoot” when they breached the front door of the house in the 7100 block of South Redwater Drive and saw Guerena holding a rifle, Storie said.
Does a SWAT team have to shoot anyone they terrify? Kill anyone who grabs a gun because they think they’re about to get killed?
According to the SWAT members’ statements all law enforcement vehicles approaching Guerena’s home had lights and sirens on and parked in the driveway, Storie said.
Guerena’s wife, Vanessa Guerena, who was inside the house with their 4-year-old son, has said she did not see or hear lights and sirens and that Guerena thought they were being targeted for a home invasion, which is why her husband grabbed his AR-15 rifle and told her and their son to hide in a closet.
And do people who fear for their lives, awakened from a deep sleep, act like B-movie characters?
One officer began shooting after Guerena placed the rifle in front of him and said “I’ve got something for you, I’ve got something for you guys,” Storie said.
You can see what Storie is doing here. But it’s a dangerous game. He could be permanently disgracing the good name of a war veteran who was only protecting his family. Anything else, Mr. SWAT Attorney?
A portrait of Jesus Malverde, believed to be a “narco saint,” was found under Guerena’s bed, Storie said.
Great. If it turns out Jose Guerena was everything he appeared to be, a good American gunned down in his home for no reason, Arizona will want to hang your hide, counselor.