A San Jose police sergeant was in the right in 2011 when shot and killed a meth-intoxicated man who tried to smash a stolen car out of a dragnet and looked to be reaching for a gun, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office reported today.
The incident occurred on October 16, 2011 when a witness reported to police that the driver of a Ford Taurus was brandishing a gun at two other men in the parking lot of a San Jose apartment complex. Preliminary investigation revealed that the Taurus had been stolen and was involved in a recent robbery.
Responding officers tried to block the suspect, identified as 32-year-old Varun Kumar, by using their patrol cars to box him in. Kumar, however, revved his engine and rammed into the patrol cars.
Sgt. Sergio Carabarin reported seeing the suspect reaching for the center console of the vehicle and believed Kumar was reaching for a weapon based on witness reports that he was armed. It was then that Carabarin shot and killed Kumar. It was later determined that Kumar was not armed and that the witness falsely reported to 911 that she had seen a weapon.
Regardless, prosecutors say, witnesses and police officers agreed that Kumar was dangerous and determined not to be caught. An autopsy revealed that Kumar was extremely high on methamphetamine and a background check revealed he had a lengthy criminal history, including charges of domestic violence, car theft, burglary, reckless driving, drug possession, and evading police.
“Varun Kumar posed a lethal danger to anyone in his path,” the district attorney’s report on the incident reads. “Sgt. Carabarin’s use of force may have saved the lives of his fellow officers and civilians.”