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Man With Disassembled Airsoft Gun Shot In Head By Police

Newly released information has shed light on the Sunday death of a Yakima, Wash. man who was shot and killed in his vehicle after police mistook his disassembled airsoft gun for a real firearm.

According to statements from Department spokesman Capt. Rod Light, Yakima Police Officer Casey Gilette observed a “suspicious” vehicle parked outside a local 24-hour car wash while on a 3 a.m. routine patrol.

After reportedly surveying the situation for one hour, Gilette decided to approach the vehicle, occupied by 23-year-old Rocendo Arias.

“Approached on foot on the driver’s side, moved around the vehicle to the passenger side of the vehicle,” Light explained to the KNDU News.

Instead of knocking on Rocendo’s window to further investigate the situation, Light admits the officer swung the passenger side door open without informing the driver. After noticing the disassembled gun, Gilette fired four shots, striking Rocendo once in the head.

“It appeared that he had some accessories to the handgun that he was trying to install on it or put pieces of this gun together,” Capt. Light said.

The airsoft gun, which shoots plastic pellets, reportedly had a bright orange plastic tip as well, used to clearly identify the item as a toy.

“I believe this particular handgun had an orange tip. But based on our investigation I don’t want to go into particulars and details of the position of the gun and where the officer was,” Light said.

Despite the toy being partially disassembled, Light appeared to defend the officer’s actions, claiming that Rocendo had his hand on the section containing the trigger.

“The deceased had the weapon not only in his hand, but he also had his finger on the trigger,” Light said.

According to Light, Gilette declined to be interviewed for 48 hours after the shooting, a right given to officers by the local police union contract.

Shortly after an investigation was opened by Gilette’s own department, Police Chief Dominic Rizzi Jr. spoke out in support of the officer’s actions as well.

“Based on the preliminary investigation, I absolutely stand behind the officer and his actions in the shooting that occurred,” Rizzi said.

A check of court records by the Yakima Herald revealed Arias to have no felony convictions. Gilette was placed on administrative leave for the duration of the investigation.

Despite children peacefully playing with toy firearms for generations, a recent string of officer-involved shootings involving toy guns has sparked debate.

Following last year’s fatal shooting of a 13-year-old California boy carrying a replica rifle, gun control groups have attempted to pass tightening regulations on similar toys, in what some see as an attempt to shift blame.

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About Mikael Thalen

Mikael Thalen is an investigative journalist covering foreign policy, information security and digital surveillance. His reports have been cited by sites such as the New York Times, Computerworld, International Business Times and the Drudge Report. How to contact Mikael securely:

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  1. Why did the cop even bother with this poor man as even if it was a gun and it was in his hand, that is not agents the law. If he was that worried about it, why did he not just call for back up? I carry my gun in my car all the time and i'm now starting to wonder, if I see I cop should I shoot first in order to save my life? To be honest, I'm starting to fear for my life just at the mere sight of a cop and they got no one to blame but there self for this. There is no justification what so ever hear and I hope this cop gets the chair for this murder he committed.

    • I was trying to remember any reports of car wash robberies.

      The story doesn't explain why the car looked suspicious or why the cop felt the right to open the car door without permission.

      Public servants? There was a time. But not in this case. If law enforcement wants us to respect them they will need to respect us. What if this guy had gone to a suspicious cop car and opened the passenger door and caught the cop putting a toy gun together….

    • Under the Bush Doctrine, you would be entitled to preemptively kill the cop. Maybe that is what it is going to take. Last year I asked my Washington State legislator Chris Hurst, a retired cop, to sponsor legislation to require all cops to wear cameras. Cops hate cameras because they hate being held accountable. Why do you think they “investigate” themselves through “internal affairs?”

      I want everyone to know that Representative Hurst didn’t even bother to respond to my request. Are we to assume he is in favor of cops murdering people and then not being held accountable?

      • I have a friend that films cops. They are always harassing him

        • Haha yeah they tend to get a little pissy when they know that they cannot screw you over or falsely incriminate you. Cameras are a good way to combat corrupt police.

        • If someone filmed you constantly it would be irritating.

          But as officers they are public servants.

          • They wouldn't need to be filmed if they acted justly and in accordance with the constitution. If I was a cop I wouldn’t mind being filmed because film doesn’t lie, learned that from college football. I would be working hard to do my job correctly and justly. Film would capture it.

          • If I screw up, then there is no way I can outrun my mistakes and would have to answer for it.

          • We have cameras at work. I know that feeling. But I know when to expect it and know there are times when I can relax and unwind.

            Not knowing, that would be hard for me. Always wondering if someone has a camera the moment I belch or stumble… I wouldn't want to wonder if it was sent to america's funniest videos or something.

            And you're right. If we could count on them weeding out the bad apples then it wouldn't be a concern.

          • You have cameras in your mom basement.

            Quit pretending that you work roger. You work at a paid hack troll terminal if you even work at all.

            If by some chance you DO have a job, which I doubt. You are stealing from them valuable time. Get back to work if you even have job which you don't.

          • Just because you're used to people working that way doesn't mean I do.

          • Well I see our nice friendly civil discussion was reported by roger and pulled. This is my point anytime I have a nice discussion with someone he has the comments pulled

          • I see my comment yesterday was pulled.
            This is my point. You hound me, attack my religion and values, stalk me and try to control the debate by pulling my comments you don't like.

            And you've been doing it long before I started paying such close attention to your comments. Are you going to comment on my grass again?

          • Hound you? I want you to leave me alone. How is that hounding you? I never engage you, it is you who engages me. I don't have comments pulled either. Only cowards do Stalk you? I don't think so. Yeah I described your house only after you said this:
            Roger 160p • 1 hour ago
            And I wouldn't stalk you if you weren't such a hack.

          • Wee, is my grass mowed?
            Is the building across the street still blue?

            It was you that stalked me, gave me a time limit to stop posting and even said this:

            29 minutes ago @ Original A… – The Drug War Expands t… · 1 reply · +1 points
            "I don't live near any mountains. Imagine how better off the world would be if you stuck a 454 Super Red Hawk in your mouth and pulled the trigger. You can borrow mine"

            Wee, that makes you more than just a typical hack.

          • Again you admitted to stalking me first and you got a tatse of your own medicine. I just took it up a notch. I don't stalk you from site to site like you do me. I leave sites to get away from you and yet you stalk me.

            And yes the world would be better off without you. That comment was spot on!

          • Wee, you can say anything you want. You can post comments on any story you want… until they ban you and get called communists. But when you took it up a notch you got it right back.

            And you're not just not happy about it.

          • Re- frame. I see you want to change the subject now.

            You don't like getting called out when openly admitted you were stalking me

          • Wee, your getting a dose of your own medicine is what it is. If my using the features of the system is stalking then what do you call posting information on my home and neighbors? Hmmm?

            And what do you say about that sucking a pistol comment? Do you still defend and advocate for violence against me?

          • Of course you have wished violence on me in the past and even said it was decent:

            Roger 168p • 49 minutes ago
            Attacking you for just about anything is the only decent thing to do.

          • Verbal attacks on your calls for death and arson are a decent thing.

            When you declare (in effect) jihad it deserves to be called out.

            24 minutes ago @ – Soldier Found Guilty i… · 1 reply · +1 points
            The whole town needs locked in the church and the church set on fire. IMO

          • Well that town of chirstians should not have beat a lady and burned hehat her house down. OF course you have called for bombs to set off in southern cities and then lied and said I made the claim when I have proof with the header that you said it:
            Roger 162p • 4 days ago
            My chuckle is that Iran is going to slip one through our admittedly very porous southern border and then detonate this in a US city…

            But of course no one wants or cares about what was said in the past and people are tired of us going back and forth, you need to stop. It is not fair to the good people on this site

          • Wee, you have never shown that story actually happened in a village in India. On another site when you were busy advocating for violence towards Christians someone provided a source where islamists had driven out a Hindu family and burned them out after beating them. They provided sources showing the story was a morph of islamists doing the violence and you ignored the evidence and contented the attack based on a rumor you have never substantiated.

            You deserve push back for your bigotry and muslim friendly agenda.

          • You know this happened in the USA as My Eyes told us. He is very creditable and has never lied

          • So you admit it was a rumor that you have only gossip as a source.

            His credibility has never been established.

            You have nothing and still advocate the death penalty, that's vigilante justice and in keeping with my statement that it's sharia justice standards and evidence of your muslim friendly standards.

          • No, what he said was the truth. He has never lied. You live in a world full of lies and lie all the time, so I would not expect you to understand truthfullness

          • What he said was a rumor based on gossip and you pushed it since it supports your agenda.

            And I understand truthfulness. I just also smell bull when it's tossed around.

          • It was a close friend of his.

            You don't understand truthfullness and I have showed that several times on this and other sites. The fact is anytime christians commit violence you have an excuse or you ignore it

          • Wee, if that happened the media would have a report, the courts would have records, there would be police calls on tape.

            Nothing was offered and that makes it a rumor. Nothing more.

            The story on the real incident in India had documentation.

            You are just a tiny little small minded kind of guy.

          • That you don't respect and you don't want egyptians to have.

          • You don't have respect for the indigenous people of Egypt.

    • Yeah, no duh. Why on EARTH would merely being in possession of the ability to defend one's self (GOD GIVEN AND CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED) be grounds to KILL someone? The PIG was obviously carrying a DEADLY WEAPON to use in his attack.
      We need to disarm these jackboot idiots. Or start killing them, and theirs. One of the two, as free people (of which I plan to remain) do not tolerate this kind of treatment from our SERVANTS.

      • I hate cops too. I have had so many bad experiences with them, some of it was my fault at times, nonetheless I have witnessed first hand cops fabricating stories to fix their wrongs and flat out lying to county judges. I attempt to defend myself in court and I get punished. Lawrence County, South Dakota, is a crappy place to get arrested.

        But we cannot resort to violence, no matter how bad we want to punch them in their PIG noses. That is exactly what the globalists are trying to get us to do. We simply need to rise up and not comply to their unlawful and unconstitutional orders.

        If a cop does not follow protocol like the story above, then by all means shoot them, they are trespassers no less of a threat than a burglar breaking into your home. But we cannot just start targeting cops for random acts of violence. That will hurt our cause of liberty and justice because we had stooped to their level.

  2. Fortunately for the cop, his employer makes all final decisions in all matters. There is no appeal beyond the government. So if you're worried about the cop and his job, don't worry at all.

  3. "Instead of knocking on Rocendo’s window to further investigate the situation, Light admits the officer swung the passenger side door open without informing the driver."

    Suppose I snuck up on a person inside his car and suddenly, without warning or notice, opened his passenger side door. Suppose the driver had a gun — a real gun, not just a disassembled toy gun — and was holding it in his hand. Suppose I shot and killed the driver. If justice were done, I would be convicted of murder. Why? Because I have no right (nor does a policeman) to invade someone's car when the driver is peacefully sitting inside. Because a reasonable person (the driver) might be expected to respond to an unidentified intruder by defensively arming himself. Because the driver had not tried to shoot me first.

    Will this policeman be charged with murder? Of course not, no more than a Mafia hit man would be charged by his Don.

  4. When are we finally going to wake up and realize that the general public will no longer be safe until all police officers are fully disarmed?

    • I agree. Cop shops are allowed, according to various court rulings, to pass-over high-IQ applicants and hire the dullard element of society. You see, they don’t want officers who are capable of independent thought and who understand that they must follow the law. They want stupid brutes who will simply follow orders.

      I say take away the cops weapons and only allow them to have handcuffs, a whistle and a radio.

    • We will be safe when law enforcement polices itself and does their job.

  5. I hope they charge that cop with 1st degree murder.

    • But but as an over the top Im holier than thou cop with a gun why would they? Hell he never identified himself as a police officer by his own omission. He went to the pass side of the car flung open the door then seeing something fired not 1,2 or 3 but 4 shots. These dumb asses will call him a hero.

      • The man in the car was not in the right, but the cop was DEAD WRONG. The man in the car was doing something illegal by having the airsoft gun visible and not in a bag or case. If he wanted to work on it it should have been inside. This however is not a crime worthy of death, and the cop should have announced himself as well as shined a light on the car before approaching.

        • How is the man in the car "not in the right"? DO we have a 2nd amendment? YES. IS IT legal to carry a firearm? YES. DID he threaten anyone with the weapon? NO.
          THE man in the car was following the law. THERE IS NO LAW that says it "MUST BE IN A CASE AND NOT VISIBLE".
          YOU are an idiot, if you think the guy the car was doing anything wrong.

    • "The officer hasn't been interviewed so we cant speculate" but wasnt that all speculation then? Let me tell you how this story ends. Another murderer gets 2 week paid vacation then comes back to work after an "internal investigation" finds no fault or wrong doing. Its not the public who need gun control. . .

      • But they sure as hell can 'speculate' about the man they shot.
        " HE HAD A GUN!!!! HE MIGHT BE GOING TO A NEARBY SCHOOL. HE could be a threat. ERGO, the officer is justified."
        SO the man who had a TOY, deserved to get shot? STUPID Mther Fcking cop committed murder, and will probably get away with it.

    • "IN SUPPORT of the police officer"???? ITS crap these cops get away with murder. WOW, even if it was a real gun, there is NO CALL to OPEN FIRE FIRST, and then say "OOPS". Was he threatening anyone with the gun? NO.
      DID he point it at the cop?? NO.
      Was the cop in any immediate threat of deadly force against him? NO!

    • Definitely. That cop is a murderer. Nowhere at all do I see justification. The second he opened the door without following procedure he should have lost all backing from the department.

  6. but the officer was ok right

  7. nothing to see here move along…

  8. Unfortunately, it will a good cop that will ultimately wind up paying the price for this cop's stupidity. There ought to be a law against 'stupidity.'

  9. This is a real tragedy, I understand the position of the police, but it is really sad, that this man was killed because of this mistake.

    • No it will be a good cop who stands up and calls it murder, LOL

      Not Likely.
      The so called good ones are only looking to get their pension.

    • MISTAKE? It's called CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE! He neglected to follow SOP, he didn't declare himself, he broke into the vehicle without probable cause and shot a man at close range FOUR TIMES IN THE HEAD.

  10. give this cop the chair. this was murder.

  11. Why would the Chief of Police without an investigation give his opinion without knowing the facts of the case.
    It is obvious that the cop's actions showed a lack of training and procedures. Any citizen sitting in that area
    and having the surprise of his passenger door jerked open would be ready to shoot anybody.
    However this boy was not violent and cleaning his car before he went to work. . This officer shot four times in fear. That type of personality should not be on the force.

  12. So, shirt first ask questions later?

    Even if it were a REAL gun, is it illegal to inspect your own firearm??

  13. ""According to Light, Gilette declined to be interviewed for 48 hours after the shooting, a right given to officers by the local police union contract"

    This is so they have time to get their story straight AND spin it around so it works with any videos that have been released.

    So if you video something like this hang on to it until AFTER the cop makes his statement.

  14. I think if the guy had been sitting there rolling a cigarette this imbecile would have shot him…this is murder. period.

  15. “Following last year’s fatal shooting of a 13-year-old California boy carrying a replica rifle, gun control groups have attempted to pass tightening regulations on similar toys, in what some see as an attempt to shift blame.”

    While I have a lot of sympathy for the police and their difficult roles, it appears the object of regulation in this instance should be the police and not toys.

    • “While I have a lot of sympathy for the police and their difficult roles…”

      Difficult? Not according to the statistics published by the U.S. Department of Labor. Each year they compile a list of fatal incidents in various professions. Police officers and law enforcement workers don’t even make the top ten! The few deaths they do suffer come primarily from traffic accidents rather than gunfire. Yet the MSM continues to tell us about how cops ‘risk their lives’ for us.

      BTW, the media has bamboozled us on another subject too: According to U.S. Department of Justice statistics, sex offenders, once they’re arrested and prosecuted, seldom re-offend. Their recidivism rate is somewhere around five percent rather than the more lurid (and attention grabbing) 90% I’ve seen “quoted”.

      Just another reason to stop watching the TV news or reading the local fishwrap.

  16. Murder. And the idiot chief defends the murderer? prison time, lots of it, but I doubt it. More likely a medal, or coverup. And people wonder why no one NO ONE trusts cops any more? The @sshole had no reason to open the car door, No reason to shoot. BUT He has a reason to go to jail for LIFE. And the municipality should be on the hook for lots of cash, for all the good that will do, and the cop himself should be paying big time. Will there be justice? You can bet your ass there wont be for this poor guy. There will be winks of the eyes, pats on the back, “investigations” thumping of the chests… but in the end, a dead innocent man, another murder cop running around ready and willing to shoot you in the head.

  17. Police who abuse their 'power' need to be held accountable. If the government city/county/state/federal won't hold their own accountable it falls to their constituents. What was the cops name? Start posting names and addresses, execute community justice, and the others might start to reconsider their positions in the food chain.

  18. Yakima Police Officer Casey Gilette.

    There are two address listed:

    118 N 31st Ave Yakima, WA 98902-2720

    2716 S 85th Ave Yakima, WA 98903-9471


    So there it is. If people start holding these criminals accountable they'll go off the grid so it'll take more effort, but up front, looks like he wants to meet the people he beats down.

    • Good information. However I bet if you call him you will end up in jail for harassment and he will go free for murder

      • The two aren't connected.
        But if he is going to be held accountable for a job related incident it would be more professional to contact his office, not the home.

  19. Simply part of the INTIMIDATION plan to make disarmament easier. People will become frightened to even have a "pellet" air gun.

    Slavery comes from keeping the people IGNORANT, POVERTY -Stricken and DISARMED

  20. give me a "M".
    give me a "U"
    give me a "R"
    give me a "D"
    give me a "E"
    give me a "R"
    What do we have ???? MURDER!!! No question about it, plain and simple planned MURDER! The cop broke EVERY RULE and MURDERED a citizen. and no one will do anything about it…..THEN YOU GET WHAT YOU DESERVE!

  21. The NKVD, Stassi, NAZI's and numerous other "enforcers" throughout history have had their "safety" elevated to the paramount concern, this NEVER ended well. Last figure I saw was that you are now 28X more likely to be slaughtered by our thugs in blue than by even AL-Queida. Who is the terrorist? These thugs are really showing Amerika where we stand aren't they? The whole meme about the "still being some good cops" is worn out. These thugs in blue, to the last face no repercussions if they don't terrorize, past regimes enforcers did a lot of what they did out of fear of what would be done to them and theirs if they didn't.
    What cop today is NOT a thug? Which one is not willing to drag a citizen away in CHAINS over their papers not being in order? The "transportation code" was NEVER to apply to the common man just traveling in the means of the day. They all are willing to affect "warrant-less arrests under emergency procedures", meaning they claim to have witnessed something so insanely dangerous that if they didn't act immediately there was danger to life and limb! What under the "traffic code" (which really doesn't even apply) rises to this level? They are all criminals and thugs and have been for a long time.

  22. Time to start fighting back against these thugs!

  23. More trigger happy cops

  24. Good cops do exist in this country. But they are being phased out just like good generals and good military people. Police departments are encouraged to hire morons like this cop and guys like this in my link:

    Cops today are thugs. Good cops need to denounce this behavior instead of protecting your own.

  25. Another good reason to keep your doors locked when inside, I do. Our other car automatically locks the doors at 7 mph but my wife does in manually before we move. If she stays in the car the doors are locked as soon as I get out.
    During the 30’s (Depression) my parents worked for the Salvation Army and were driving a fancy car, donated to the SA. At a stop light someone tried to open the door, dad dropped the hammer and went through the stop light. Left the guy standing there with a funny look on his face according to my father.

  26. that this man was killed because of this mistake.

  27. The man may have had his toy with him to execute a suicide by cop plan. Whatever the case, given the spiritual realms ultimate dominance over life; guns are arguably a tool of communication at their root. And ultimately a very poor and primitive one, to boot. It is pretty hard to take back a bullet. So now with the advent of cellphones being so abundant, perhaps there should be a sober endeavor to help make sure their use starts out on a high a level of conversation as possible. Put them in the butt of the gun if necessary and have them contact a local police dispatcher when they are endeavored to be used. This could frankly work well with the whole idea of the well regulated militia requirement of our Constitution. Neighbors having the proper training could also be called on to help.

  28. I wonder if the increasing number of citizens killed by police is the result of a new Doctrine. A Doctrine whose basis it that whenever a LEO sees a gun, no matter how benign it may be, he must shoot to kill. This would have far reaching effects on the concealed carry community, It would shut down the toy gun industry, and ultimately kill the civilian gun industry. It would not be a stretch of the imagination to consider that the liberal minds hate guns, and that boys that play with toy guns are more likely to become owners and carriers of real guns, and anti-liberal. Using the illegal drug analogy, Pot is a gateway drug to more lethal and potent drugs. Therefore toy guns are a gateway to real guns, and real guns don’t belong in the hands of the servile class. So if enough servants with toy guns are killed by LEO, they will stop their association with guns of any type. Consider it social control by lawful murder.

    • It will come down to who gets to their weapon first. Everyone of these sanctioned nazi’s has an imaginary target on their back. Study the looks on peoples faces now when they see a cop. It sure as hell isn’t one of adoration. Its a look of mistrust, and suspicion. It’s becoming a situation of if approached by a nazi you had better be prepared to protect yourself, wife, and daughter. From a shooting or sexual assault.

  29. MURDER did you get that?
    It’s called MURDER when you
    stalk someone with your car, get out of your car, confront that person in their car doing nothing illegal, use poor judgement compunding the situation, climaxing with the shooting in the head of an innocent American citizen.
    It’s a good thing it wasn’t a model airplane the victim was trying to put together. No doubt a drone strike would have been authorized. Medals all around

  30. The investigation was not even complete, and they chief was whitewashing the incident. How can the public have any confidence in the police when they do not POLICE themselves.

    Why did the cop walk? Why didn't he approach the car with his cruiser, turn on the lights and ask the driver to get out of the car? He could have stood behind the driver's side door for cover and had the driver get out and lay down. Yet, the officer's misplaced FEAR with allow the police and DA to excuse his murderous behavior.

  31. Check out cop shoot teen holding WII controller.

  32. If he was putting pieces on the gun how could he have his finger on the trigger? I smell bullshit

  33. COP's story doesn't make sense (again).

    He just opened the door, illegally, didn't announce, and then summarily executed an innocent person. That's murder if you don't have a badge.

    What if that guy in the car was another cop?

    I find it heartbreaking that the Chief, the supervising authority, is standing by the negligent and murderous actions of this cowardly officer.

  34. Normal citizen shoots someone in the head and commits murder… police arrest and jail him or her. Wear the badge, you do the same, and get paid vacation and the Chief of Police defending your actions.


  35. This is very sad to see, I'm veteran of the airsoft sport of over 10 years and always been safe. Ofcourse you should never carry airsoft guns openly in public, that is the rule number 1 over here amongst players. Hopefully awareness is raised on this issue.

  36. More police scum held unaccountable for their thug actions…

  37. If he was putting pieces on the gun how could he have his finger on the trigger? I smell bullshit. That’s true.

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