A man accused of attacking several people with a screwdriver in Belmont Shore last month repeatedly told officers to shoot him while ignoring their commands to get on the ground, according to a newly released video of the incident.
The Long Beach Police Department on Thursday revealed new details of the attack, which ended with police shooting 31-year-old Mario Najara as he tried to enter a residential property at Second Street and Quincy Avenue on May 30.
Najara’s crime spree began just before noon near Livingston Park in Belmont Shore. There, according to police, Najara used a screwdriver to stab two people walking along Park Avenue before making his way into Livingston Park where he attacked a grandfather who had his daughter and niece with him.
During the attack, a witnesses distracted Najara, allowing the grandfather to escape, according to police. But the grandfather’s phone fell during the attack, and Najara took it, authorities said.
A 911 caller, who said she was breastfeeding her baby in her car as she watched the stabbing unfold, can be heard in the video telling dispatcher that there’s a guy with a knife trying to stab people at Livingston Park.
As the call progresses, she becomes more frantic, eventually screaming that a guy needs help.
“He’s stabbed three people now and there’s kids in the park,” the caller tells police. “Get police here NOW. NOW. NOW.”
By the time officers arrived at the scene, Najara had made his way through the park and headed toward Second Street where security footage shows him attacking an unsuspecting person in front a restaurant. Najara appears to have something in his hand and confronts the victim before kicking a restaurant sign and walking away.
At the time, according to police, it was believed he was armed with a knife. But police later learned it was actually a screwdriver.
At the scene, witnesses pointed out Najara to officers, who located him near the Wells Fargo Bank on Second Street.
Video shows an officer getting out of his vehicle, pointing his gun at Najara and warning him to not get closer.
Najara ignores the officer, telling him “shoot the f—king gun” before walking through a breezeway away from police.
Najara continues through a parking lot where he approaches a man. The officer warns Najara to get away from the man, who can be heard telling officers that Najara has something in his hand.
“Get on the ground my man, no one wants to hurt you, but you need to get on the ground,” the officer can be heard saying in body-worn camera footage.
“You don’t have the balls to shoot,” Najara can be heard responding.
While continuing to avoid instruction to get on the ground, and police walking after him with pointed weapons, Najara can be then seen walking toward Quincy Avenue.
He goes through the driveway and attempts to enter the front yard of the home as officers continue to warn him.
“Don’t do it,” an officer can be heard saying as Najara attempts to open the gate. An officer then appears to fire two shots at Najara, hitting him at least once.
The officers rendered aid, applying a tourniquet to Najara at the scene. The screwdriver used in the attacks was recovered on Najara, police said.
Paramedics subsequently transported him to a local hospital in stable condition. He’s since been charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury, and one count each of attempted murder, robbery and resisting, delaying or obstructing a peace officer, according to authorities. He remains jailed in lieu of $1 million bail.
The stabbing victims, meanwhile, all sustained non-life-threatening injures, police said.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office will conduct its own investigation of the incident, as is typically done with police shootings. The LBPD said it will also be conducting an investigation.