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'He's got a gun! Shoot him! Shoot him!': Suspect grabs gun in struggle with 3 sheriff's deputies before one of them shoots him in the head

Image source: Orange County Sheriff's Department

A suspect grabbed his gun during a struggle with multiple sheriff's deputies in a southern California Walmart before one of the officers shot the suspect in the head, according to Orange County Sheriff's Department body camera video released Tuesday.

What are the details?

Ernest Aguilar, 30 of Santa Ana, survived the Jan. 19 shooting and was recovering in jail, Sgt. Todd Hylton told the Orange County Register, adding there were no other injuries.

Aguilar has been charged with multiple counts of assault with a deadly weapon against a peace officer and other felonies following the incident in Foothill Ranch, which is part of Lake Forest, the paper said.

Aguilar was one of three people trying to use a fake receipt to either exit the Walmart with high-end electronics or fraudulently return the merchandise for cash, sheriff’s officials said, according to the Register.

Responding deputies approached Aguilar and a woman he was with as they stood in a checkout line with large items, the paper said.

Deputies told Aguilar they wouldn't arrest him or the woman; instead, he said they were to be detained and were to exit with the deputies who would then get their information for a trespassing report and that the pair would then be banned from re-entering the store.

As deputies escorted Aguilar out, one of them began to chastise the suspect: "You're like 40 years old, and you're still stealing, dude? Get a job. Let's go."

Image source: Orange County Sheriff's Department

When another deputy noticed Aguilar had a knife hanging off his jeans, the deputy talking to Aguilar got angry when the suspect appeared to reach for his knife: "Get your f***ing hand off the knife! Get the f*** out of the store!" Audio seemed to indicate the deputy pulled the knife from its sheath.

"How stupid are you?" another deputy asked Aguilar.

With that, the first deputy pulled Aguilar's wrists backward and attempted to restrain him, but it took three deputies to get the suspect on the floor; a civilian also ran over to help.

Image source: Orange County Sheriff's Department

Image source: Orange County Sheriff's Department

Image source: Orange County Sheriff's Department

'He’s got a gun! He’s got a gun! Shoot him! Shoot him!'

While Aguilar was trying to free himself from the deputies, video shows him reaching to his right pant leg and grabbing a gun.

"He’s got a gun! He’s got a gun! Shoot him! Shoot him!" one deputy hollers.

Image source: Orange County Sheriff's Department

One deputy restrained Aguilar's hand that was gripping the gun, and another deputy shot Aguilar.

Image source: Orange County Sheriff's Department

Anything else?

Aguilar remained in custody Tuesday in lieu of bail exceeding $2.2 million, the Register said, citing inmate records. He's been charged with three counts of assault on a peace officer using a firearm, assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, possession of a gun missing a serial number, and two counts of identity theft, the paper added.

In 2017, he pleaded guilty to counterfeiting and driving with a suspended license, the Register also said, citing court records, adding that Aguilar was a defendant in eight additional open felony cases involving allegations of robbery, burglary, assault, criminal threats, resisting arrest, possession of a controlled substance, and other offenses.

The paper said the public defender assigned to represent Aguilar did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

The woman with Aguilar and another man who was waiting outside the store for them fled the area in a minivan, authorities told the Register, adding that they soon were detained about 20 miles away in Midway City. It was not immediately clear if they also will face charges in connection with the Walmart incident, the paper said.

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