DUBLIN -- An 18-year-old man who was shot and killed by Dublin police Sunday night fought with officers from Livermore the day before -- but was released from police custody even though they were forced to subdue him with a stun gun.

Oscar Herrera, of Dublin, attacked a friend and threatened to eat him Saturday afternoon in Livermore in a possibly drug-fueled incident, police said. On Sunday evening, Herrera was fatally shot after using a baseball bat to hit a Dublin police officer after a family friend called police to report that Herrera was threatening his mother.

Livermore police said Monday that Herrera was not placed on a psychiatric hold after the Saturday incident because he had not threatened to harm himself, and he was released from police custody because officers believed he would be sedated in a hospital intensive care unit until prosecutors could file criminal charges against him.

Herrera had a criminal history of assault, resisting arrest, and possession of drugs and weapons, Dublin police said Monday.

When Livermore police responded to call for help Saturday, they found Herrera covered in blood from a fight with his friend. When he attacked police and threatened to kill them, they used their Tasers on him, but eventually had to wrestle him to the ground and handcuff him.


Advertisement

Police took him to a hospital to be treated for possible drug use and for injuries from his earlier fight. A Livermore police statement said that because no officers were hurt in the fight and they believed that Herrera would remain sedated in the hospital for several days, police released him from their custody.

The next morning, Herrera checked himself out of the hospital against his doctor's advice and called his mother to pick him up, police said.

Around 6:15 p.m. that evening, Dublin police were called to the Alamo Creek Villas apartment complex in the 7000 block of Dublin Meadows Street.

Dublin police Chief Tom McCarthy said Herrera's sister's boyfriend called 911 because he feared for the safety of Herrera's mother. The boyfriend -- who was not at the apartment at the time -- told police that he believed Herrera was coming off drugs because he had just been released from a hospital.

Officers met Herrera, who was holding an aluminum baseball bat, at the front door of the unit.

An officer drew his gun, and Herrera hit the officer's right hand with the bat, police said Monday.

"Herrera then raised the baseball bat over his head in a motion which would direct the bat at the officer's head," Dublin police Lt. Herb Walters said in a statement. "The officer felt his life was in immediate danger and fired four rounds striking (Herrera) and stopping the threat to his life."

Herrera was pronounced dead at the scene.

McCarthy said Monday that Dublin officers did not use a Taser on the combative man because the assault happened so fast.

The officer who shot Herrera -- whose name was not released -- is on paid administrative leave pending an investigation, a routine move after an officer-involved shooting. The officer's hand remained swollen Monday, McCarthy said.

McCarthy said he believed Herrera was either detoxing from methamphetamine or bath salts, but toxicology reports have not been completed. Police said that Herrera had pushed his mother to the ground, causing her minor to moderate injuries. She was recovering Monday.

In the earlier incident, Livermore police were called Saturday about Herrera using methamphetamine and attacking and threatening to eat his friend.

When Livermore police approached Herrera ¿in the 3800 block of East Avenue about 4 p.m., he ignored officers' commands and charged at them before they used the Taser and wrestled him to the ground, according to a statement from Livermore police spokesman Steve Goard. The Livermore police statement says he was placed under arrest at that time, before officers determined that he needed medical care.

Herrera was taken to a hospital and admitted to the intensive care unit, "where he was expected to stay for the next couple of days," according to the police statement. At that time, police released him from their custody and planned to seek a criminal complaint from the Alameda County District Attorney's Office.

Goard said investigators were following the department's common practice for when a suspect is admitted into a hospital's intensive care unit.

"Generally in ICU, they sedate them to the point they are not responsive," Goard said. "The officers were under the impression he would be there a couple of days and opted to complete the investigation and send it to the (district attorney's office)."

Police said that Herrera's friend told them he had seen Herrera ingest what he believed to be methamphetamine earlier in the day. The friend said began to act strangely, including trying to put his hands inside his friend's mouth before police arrived. The friend declined to press charges against Herrera.

Although Dublin contracts with the Alameda County Sheriff's Office for police services, sheriff's spokesman Sgt. J.D. Nelson said Dublin police and the Alameda County District Attorney's Office will investigate the shooting.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call 925-833-6670.