California Department of Justice Releases Report on Officer-Involved Shooting of Luis Garcia-Arias

Tuesday, March 19, 2024
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta, pursuant to Assembly Bill 1506 (AB 1506), today released a report on Luis Garcia-Arias's death from an officer involved shooting in Tustin, California, on August 9, 2021, involving the Tustin Police Department (TPD). The report is part of the California Department of Justice's (DOJ) ongoing efforts to provide transparency and accountability in law enforcement practices. The report provides a detailed analysis of the incident and outlines DOJ's findings. After a thorough investigation, DOJ concluded that criminal charges were not appropriate in this case. However, DOJ recognizes the important lessons to be learned from this incident. As required by AB 1506, the Attorney General has issued specific policy and practice recommendations related to the incident.

"AB 1506 is a critical transparency and accountability tool, and our hope for this report is to provide some understanding and aid in advancing towards a safer California for all," said Attorney General Bonta. “Loss of life is always a tragedy. We acknowledge that this particular incident posed challenges for all parties involved, including Mr. Garcia-Arias' family, law enforcement, and the community as a whole. The California Department of Justice remains steadfast in our commitment to working together with all law enforcement partners to ensure an unbiased, transparent, and accountable legal system for every resident of California.” 

On August 9, 2021, TPD officers responded to a call that a male, previously seen wandering the neighborhood with a knife, had returned and was in the bushes at the mobile home park. Mr. Garcia-Arias was shot by an officer at around 10:16 am, and he died from his injuries in the hospital at 12:59 pm. Under AB 1506, which requires DOJ to investigate all incidents of officer-involved shootings resulting in the death of an unarmed civilian in the state, DOJ conducted a thorough investigation into this incident and concluded that the evidence does not show, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the officer involved acted without the intent to defend herself and others from what she reasonably believed to be imminent death or serious bodily injury. Therefore, there is insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution of the officer. As such, no further action will be taken in this case.  

As part of its investigation, DOJ has identified several policy recommendations that it believes will help prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. These recommendations include: 


TPD policy and training should ensure that officers not just consider but be required to develop a tactical plan prior to engaging a subject, unless developing a plan is not feasible under the circumstances. TPD should then require officers to document why a plan was unfeasible if one was not developed. If not already included, officer training should include officer positioning when contacting a subject, the use of a cover officer, use of an electronic control device (ECW) officer, and training on what can and should occur in the event of ECW failure.  


DOJ encourages TPD to ensure that personnel adhere to TPD policy and that their devices are in good working order before entering service. DOJ also recommends that TPD include a contingency plan for how officers should proceed when they realize their BWC equipment may malfunction in the field.


DOJ recommends that TPD ensures that its policies are being followed with regard to sequestering the officers and urges the department to always separate shooting and/or witness officers after an incident.

A copy of the report can be found here.


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