Davis Police Release Video of December Shooting, Showing Man Charge Police Who Then Open Fire

The Davis Police have released all audio and video recordings of the December 19 shooting that followed the stabbing of Carol Gray by her son. When police arrived they saw Ms. Gray on the ground with a sheet on her, breathing still.

However, as they attempted to enter the home, they encountered resistance from Christopher Gray.

At one point when he was resisting with a knife, they attempted to tase him, but that failed to incapacitate him. As they attempted to get him to surrender his weapon, the video shows him suddenly charge towards the door at which point the police opened fire – and he eventually died at the scene.

Here is the police release:

This release is a summary of the facts known at this time. This is an active investigation. The information provided in this release is preliminary and subject to change.

On Thursday, December 19, 2019, at 3:41 a.m., officers from the Davis Police Department (DPD) were dispatched to 435 Avocet Avenue regarding a report from Carol Gray that her son was being verbally aggressive and making non-specific threats. The emergency phone call ended with what sounded like a physical altercation.

DPD officers arrived on scene at approximately 3:48 a.m. Within minutes of arriving, the officers saw a person, later identified by the Yolo County Coroner as Carol Gray, under a sheet inside the residence. They were able to see her through a front window. They also saw a male subject, later identified by the Yolo County Coroner as Christopher Gray, in the front room. Officers made entry into the residence and, within minutes, shot Christopher Gray after he advanced at them with a knife.

Despite efforts by officers and responding emergency medical personnel to save both Carol and Christopher, they both died at the scene. Although the Yolo County Coroner is responsible for releasing information regarding the cause and manner of death, the death of Carol Gray is being investigated by DPD as a homicide.

There were five DPD officers involved in this incident. Three officers discharged their firearm. Their names are being released in response to a Public Records Act request.

  • Corporal Alex Torres; 7 ½ years of experience.
  • Officer Ben Adams; 15 ½ years of experience.
  • Officer Francisco Talavera; 14 ½ years of experience.

One of the officers involved was injured, treated by medical personnel and released with a finger splint. The officers involved in the shooting were placed on paid administrative leave following the incident, but have since returned to regular duty.

Pursuant to DPD policy, there are several independent investigations relating to this incident taking place.

  • Investigators from the West Sacramento Police Department and the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office are conducting an independent investigation to determine whether the involved officers used reasonably necessary deadly force relating to this incident. Their investigation will be turned over to the Yolo County District Attorney for review and findings.
  • The Professional Standards Division of the Davis Police Department is conducting an investigation to determine whether the officers were in compliance with Department policies relating to this incident. The internal investigation will be reviewed by the City of Davis Independent Police Auditor.
  • Detectives from the Davis Police Department are investigating the death of Carol Gray.

The investigations are complex and require detailed examination of all facts and evidence. It is normal for the investigations to take several months or more to complete.

The Davis Police Department recognizes the significance of this incident and the impact it has on our community. We are committed to providing timely information and communicating openly with our community.

Today, DPD will release portions of video and audio material related to this incident as well as a response to a Public Records Act request for premise history information at 435 Avocet Avenue. The material consists of two (2) body-worn camera videos, a recording of the phone call Carol Gray made on the emergency line to DPD dispatch and police radio traffic relating to this incident.

The two (2) body-worn camera videos begin as the officers arrive on scene. All video and audio being released has been redacted to ensure the confidentiality and privacy of those involved. The faces have been blurred and audio redactions are signified by muted audio with no accompanying sound. The remainder of video and audio related to this incident will be released within 45 days of the incident. The Police Department is releasing this material to provide information quickly to our community.

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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    1. Shereen Daftari

      Whats “right” with this picture? Nothing.

      It’s been way over 45 days, where’s the video? Not that it matters because according to the article:

      All video and audio being released has been redacted to ensure the confidentiality and privacy of those involved.

      Why are they ensuring the confidentiality and privacy of people who are not alive??


      1. Bill Marshall

        Why are they ensuring the confidentiality and privacy of people who are not alive??

        The remaining families, friends?

        You seem to be a tad pre-occupied with the videos…  what do you expect to see/glean from them… I’ve been on the uncleaned scene of a double murder… 2 nights later, the nightmares started… lasted 2-3 nights…

        1. Shereen Daftari

          I don’t want to see a grotesque crime scene, and I don’t believe the shooting of the assailant was unjustified however I am curious about the verbal exchange between officers during and immediately after the incident as I have heard from more than one source that the department had refused to send units out to the residence earlier in the day because they had already been there and were familiar with the subject from multiple prior incidents at the same address.  I will not be hearing anything though because according to the article;

           All video and audio being released has been redacted to ensure the confidentiality and privacy of those involved. The faces have been blurred and audio redactions are signified by muted audio with no accompanying sound. 

          Whats the point of releasing the video at all?

          Also, I am sorry that you had to witness a crime scene of a double murder, I’m assuming of the couple out on Cowell? I cannot even imagine.

  1. Shereen Daftari

    Where can I find these body-worn camera videos? Am I not navigating this site correctly? There doesn’t seem to be any reasonable ending to any of these stories.

  2. Jeff Boone

    It seems the officers were trying to get to Carol Gray to try and save her before she died.

    Maybe it would have just been better to leave the situation alone to escalate to something like this: https://fox40.com/news/california-connection/california-man-allegedly-caught-eating-90-year-old-grandmothers-body/?fbclid=IwAR0gtV0sqxheZ6HPePCh9CX5dXXY_e_Zi8uqxELfk3PEDFmP-wCpXiWNx4g

    And if you find this story offensive, just remember that it the stuff that cops have to deal with almost every day.

    1. Shereen Daftari

      They should have probably dealt with her violently insane son before he stabbed her then.  Carol Gray did not have to die, her death could have been prevented.

      This was not DPD’s first interaction with her son, they had been to the home numerous times.  So many different times in fact that earlier the same day they flat refused to send units because they had already been there that day and weren’t gonna go and said exactly that to the neighbor who called.

      They should probably look into some mental health training exercises or hire an on-call mental health worker for these types of calls because there are many of them everyday.  They’re just not news until something horrific happens.

      1. Alan Miller

        I don’t disagree, but sometimes stuff just doesn’t go right, and the gov’t can’t watch every potential suicide or homicide perp until it happens, if it ever does.

        First I’ve ever seen a comment section perk back up after half a year.  I assumed they had a time limit of a week or two at most, but I guess you can go back years and talk to commenters long gone.

        1. Bill Marshall

          Yes Alan… ‘stuff happens’… not sure I want to live in a world where gov’t guarantees bad stuff will never happen… a dystopia… flies in the face of a free society and evolution…

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