Hollister Police release video of Dec. 8 officer-involved shooting

Investigation is ongoing

Acting Hollister Police Chief and Captain Carlos Reynoso

The Hollister Police Department released 911 audio recordings and body-worn camera footage from two officers involved in the Dec. 8 shooting of Brandon Hill, who was allegedly causing a disturbance and threatening family members at their local home.

The video clips show a chaotic scene that escalated quickly inside the residence, with Hill, 29, brandishing a kitchen knife, throwing items across the house and yelling threats and profanities at police before Officer Ramon Campos shot him once in the abdomen. The video shows Hill, with the knife in his hand, making a quick movement toward Campos just before the officer shot him—about six minutes after police arrived at the home on the 1100 block of Kimberly Court in response to a 911 call.

Hill immediately dropped the knife and collapsed into the fetal position on the floor of the kitchen after he was shot. Officers detained him and provided first aid to Hill before paramedics transported him to a nearby hospital. He was released several days later, and arrested in relation to the Dec. 8 incident.

Hill had apparently been suffering from a mental health episode before family members called 911. When Campos and Officer Pedro Torres arrived at the home, Torres’ body camera footage showed they were greeted by a man who identified himself as Hill’s father. He told the officers that Hill has “mental health issues” and had been making threats—including to burn the house down—for about the previous 30 minutes. He said the family was “really concerned about our safety.”

Numerous times during the video—while the officers were trying to talk Hill into putting down the knife—a female voice can be heard off camera saying, “Please don’t hurt him.”

The edited footage released Feb. 26 includes comments from Hollister Interim Police Chief Carlos Reynoso, as well as explanatory text and graphics describing portions of the video and other aspects of the incident. A partial audio recording of the initial 911 call from a family member at the home is also included.

The Monterey County District Attorney’s Office is conducting a formal investigation of the Dec. 8 officer-involved shooting, Reynoso said. The San Benito County Sheriff’s Office and local DA’s office is assisting in the investigation.

“We are sharing this body-worn camera video before the investigation is complete because we want our community to have as much information as soon as we can make it available,” Reynoso said in the video. “That said, our understanding of the incident could change based on the results of the independent investigation. The men and women of the Hollister Police Department take the use of force very seriously and wish to avoid it whenever possible.”

Hill is currently in custody at San Benito County Jail on charges of felony arson, assault on an officer, resisting an officer and criminal threats, according to District Attorney Candice Hooper. All charges are related to the Dec. 8 incident.

Hill’s next hearing is scheduled for March 11 at the county jail.

At one point during the video released Feb. 26, Hill could be heard igniting the stove in the kitchen. Moments later, an object on fire moved through the air across the room before settling on the floor, igniting a fire at Campos’ feet. Hill was not in view of the officers’ footage released Feb. 26 when he turned on the stove and set the item on fire, though text captions explain the details.

The footage mostly shows video from Torres’ camera. Shortly after entering the home, Campos was pointing his Taser in Hill’s direction before switching to his handgun, the video depicts. Torres had his Taser pointed at Hill during the standoff.

Hollister PD released an English and Spanish version of the video. The video, which can be viewed below, contains profanity and images of violence.