DUBLIN -- An 18-year-old Dublin man who was killed Sunday during an altercation with Dublin police was remembered by his high school principal as a good kid who was struggling to right his life.

Meanwhile, Livermore and Dublin police continued to answer questions about their encounters with the teen before he was killed.

A Livermore police spokesman said Tuesday that the department followed protocol when it released the teen from custody Saturday, after he was taken to a hospital to be treated for injuries he suffered in a fight.

Oscar Herrera, a senior at Foothill High School in Pleasanton, was first arrested Saturday at 4 p.m. after fighting with an acquaintance and then charging at Livermore officers, threatening to kill them. He had taken methamphetamine, something responding officers quickly recognized after confronting him, according to police.

Officers tried to calm Herrera then tried to subdue him with a Taser. They tackled him to the ground when the Taser failed to stop him. They then transported him to a local hospital for treatment.

"He was pretty much nonresponsive after sedation, so the officer made the decision to complete the report and then seek a warrant come Monday," Officer Steve Goard, a spokesman for the Livermore Police Department said Tuesday, elaborating on information first released Monday.

But the next morning, Herrera pulled the medical tubes out of his arm, put on his clothes and walked out of the hospital.


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Guards are sometimes posted outside the hospital rooms of inmates, but Goard said that's typically reserved for suspects who have committed such violent crimes as rape or murder. Alameda County Sheriff's Sgt. J.D. Nelson said there is no countywide policy spelling out whether and how inmates should be guarded, although some departments require guards for violent suspects.

But Livermore police didn't consider Herrera violent.

"He didn't punch or kick the officers, and none of his behavior indicated mental health issues," Goard said, adding that reports about Herrera trying to "eat the acquaintance's face" by reaching into his mouth were inaccurate.

After leaving the hospital, Herrera returned to the Dublin apartment he shared with his mother and sister. He later had a fight with his mother and pushed her to the ground. Herrera's sister's boyfriend called police.

Herrera had some brushes with the law in the past and had been charged with assault, resisting arrest and possession of drugs and weapons, according to Dublin police. It was not immediately clear when the offenses occurred.

Jason Krolikowski, principal of Foothill High, where Herrera had transferred last spring, said Herrera was a good kid who was trying hard to overcome his issues and needed "extra support." Krolikowski said some of the teachers at the school "are taking this very hard."

"Oscar was not a problem in school or ever posed any danger to our school," Krolikowski said. "He wanted to do well, and he sometimes made bad choices, like all teenagers do."

No one answered the door at the Herrera home Tuesday, and messages left there were not immediately answered. But several neighbors who were at home at the time of the fatal shooting, questioned why Dublin officers needed to use a gun to stop Herrera.

"I appreciate the risks officers take every day, but you'd think they'd be able to step back and reason with the person instead of firing off several rounds at him," said Pat Erwin, who lives next door to the Herreras at the Alamo Creek Villas apartment complex, in the 7000 block of Dublin Meadows Street.

"Using a gun was just not necessary," he said. "Why not a Taser?"

Lt. Herb Walters, a spokesman with the Dublin Police Department, said officers acted appropriately after being attacked by Herrera, who was wielding an aluminum baseball bat above his head. When one of the three officers drew his gun, Herrera responded by hitting the officer on his hand.

"The subject came upon the officers as soon as he opened the door," Walters said. "If we believe our life is in immediate danger, we use the force we think is necessary."

Herrera was shot four times and was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. Dublin police say Herrera was either detoxing from methamphetamine or bath salts, but toxicology reports have not been completed.

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

Follow Karina Ioffee at Twitter.com/kioffee.