Napa County Sheriff’s investigators released a stunning body cam video Wednesday of a fatal weekend deputy-involved shooting of an armed suspect on a rural roadway.
On the video from a camera worn by Sheriff’s Deputy Riley Jarecki, the suspect can be seen sitting in his car as the deputy approached the vehicle, CBS San Francisco reports.
Jarecki asked the suspect if she can look around to make sure there are no weapons or suspicious items inside. She told the suspect — Javier Hernandez Morales — not to move. As she walked around the car, Jarecki tapped on the driver’s side window and asked Morales to roll it down several times before he appeared to respond.
Jarecki spoke with Hernandez Morales for about five minutes, according to Napa County Undersheriff Jon Crawford.
Hernandez Morales then rolled down the window, quickly pulled out a gun and fired a shot at Jarecki, who returned fire several times. She was not physically injured. Hernandez Morales died at the scene.
The incident took place in the 1100 block of Henry Road about two miles southwest of Napa at about 11 p.m. Sunday. Jarecki was driving by and became suspicious of Morales as he was parked on the roadside.
She pulled over and approached his vehicle moments before the close quarters gunfight took place.
Undersheriff Crawford said it was “divine intervention” that kept Jarecki from getting shot. “It’s pretty obvious that he [Hernandez Morales] intended to kill her,” said Crawford.
“We are proud of the deputy’s composure and her fight to save her life.”
Jarecki is a third-generation law enforcement member who has been in the field for two and a half years. She was sworn in as a deputy by Napa County Sheriff John Robertson in June 2018; she previously worked for the Fairfield and Calistoga police forces.
Yesterday Sheriff John Robertson swore in our newest Deputy Sheriff Riley Jarecki. Deputy Jarecki comes from a family…
Jarecki’s father is also a member of the Napa County Sheriff’s Office.
CBS San Francisco police analyst and former Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan said that Jarecki made all the right moves.
“She reacted the way she was trained to: to meet deadly force with deadly force, to try and neutralize the threat, which was returning fire,” said Jordan.
She is doing OK and has been placed on administrative leave as an investigation is being conducted by the Napa County Major Crimes Task Force, comprising investigators with the Napa County Sheriff’s Office, Napa Police Department and the Napa County District Attorney’s Office.
Hernandez Morales, 43, had a significant criminal history. He had been booked into Napa County Jail at least five times since 2015, including arrests for weapons violations, driving under the influence and assaulting a peace officer.
Inside of Hernandez Morales’s vehicle was a loaded .22 caliber rifle, the one which he used to fire on Jarecki. The weapon was stolen from Fremont.