Officer Vizzusi Showed Up Late, Shoots Anthony Within 3 Minutes of Arriving to Feller Ave
Officer Vizzusi was promoted to Sergeant by SJPD just 6 months after he shot and killed 18-year-old Anthony Nuñez on July 4, 2016. He had been back on the streets only 3 or 4 months after spending three or four years at the academy, when he responded to the call of a suicidal person with a weapon. Vizzusi concluded the call he was on involving open containers and then arrived in helmet, TAC vest, AR rifle and duty belt.
Recalling what his thoughts were moments before the shooting, Vizzusi says, "I can’t believe this guy has not figured it out, hasn’t dropped his gun. This has gone so long, why is he not getting with the program?" For some reason though, Vizzusi couldn't attribute Anthony's lack of awareness to the bullet wound Anthony had to the head. As he and his partner Officer Raghavan went to the northside of Feller, he said he was thinking about things like maybe they should kick down fences in the houses down Feller to get at Anthony. So much for caring for the neighborhood.
He shoots Anthony within 3 minutes of getting to Feller. He positioned his AR 15 aimed at Anthony's center mass, and shot Anthony through the chest that ripped through his lungs and went through the back. He said his training tells him to go for center mass. And even after Anthony laid on the ground, Vizzusi thought Anthony was “playing possum” - playing dead is what he said in the homicide interview following the incident.
From the jump, Vizzusi approached the situation as if Anthony was a “bad guy”- counsel reminds him that it was an 18 year old man who needed help. "We use that term quite often," says Vizzusi on the stand. "We use 'bad guy' to designate a suspect." The audience reacts a bit. But he was someone who needed help, counsel says. “At what point?”asks Vizzusi.
“You fired your gun 3 minutes after arriving on the scene?” asked counsel. “Waiting for a burger takes longer than that."