A San Francisco man who was shot and killed by San Francisco police after allegedly pulling a stun gun on officers had as many as 14 gunshot wounds and may have discharged the stun gun at the scene, according to the Medical Examiner’s Office report released Thursday.
Alejandro Nieto, 28, was killed March 21 when policed fired on him after he reportedly drew a stun gun that police mistook for a real gun. The Bernal Heights Park incident was precipitated by reports of an armed man acting erratically atop the hill.
The legal team representing Nieto’s family has said a witness maintains that Nieto never had a stun gun.
The wounds to Nieto’s body, several to his back, came from above and below and were caused by .40-caliber weapons, according to the Medical Examiner’s Office, which said in the report that the cause of death was gun shot wounds.
Nieto’s wounds were to the head, torso, legs and arms. In all, 18 fragments or clusters of bullet fragments were recovered from the body. But the number of gunshot wounds does not necessarily mean he was hit with that many bullets, as one bullet could cause multiple wounds.
The report also noted that Nieto had a history of mental health issues made worse because he failed to take his medication. The report’s pathological findings noted that Nieto had a “clinical history of psychosis exacerbated by non-compliance with medications.”
Nieto had a restraining order against him after threatening a man with a stun gun.
Despite the report’s indication of Nieto’s history of mental health issues, Benjamin Bac Sierra, a spokesman for the family, said that such details had nothing to do with Nieto’s death and should not retroactively justify police actions.
“Do not trust the San Francisco machinery to tell you the truth,” said Bac Sierra about Nieto’s death investigation, which he described as a character assassination and a “twisting of reality.”
Bac Sierra said that such details have no bearing on the shooting since there is no indication that police at the scene had any idea of Nieto’s mental state.
Nieto’s entry wounds, said Bac Sierra, seem to indicate Nieto was shot while on the ground.
According to the report, Nieto was handcuffed by police after the shooting and then examined by medical staff who declared him dead at the scene.