Gabriel Gurrola can't hold back the tears thinking of his 26-year-old brother Abel Gurrola, who he says police shot just after midnight.
“I see my brother died in front of my eyes,” Gurrola said. “While he has a bullet hole that went through his cheek, came back through his head and went to his brain and his spinal cord."
Gurrola says he and his brother Abel fired no more than six shots towards an open field near his apartment at 720 Terrace Way in south Bakersfield.
“It was just a New Year's thing you know,” he says. “I didn't know it was going to take my brother's life."
Bakersfield Police say they got calls of several shots fired in the area, and when they arrived, they found Gurrola holding a rifle.
"Officers identified themselves as police officers and ordered the suspect to drop the rifle,” says Michaela Beard of the Bakersfield Police Department. “He refused and fled from them, a foot pursuit ensued, during which an officer-involved shooting occurred."
Police say officers shot Abel Gurrola, and he was taken to the hospital with major injuries. Rosemary Lopez has six children with Abel Gurrola, they have been together for 14 years, and she says she is devastated that Gurrola has brain damage.
"There’s no seeing his smile, no hearing his laugh, no arguing with him, it’s just me alone," Lopez says.
Their youngest child is five months old.
“I don’t even know how I’m going to tell my kids,” she says. “They can’t hug him anymore and say daddy I love you.”
Abel Gurrola had several run-ins with the law. He pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm in 2007 and was only out of prison for a month after violating parole.
“Everybody's a criminal, anybody can be a criminal, it’s a crime to spit on somebody,” Gabriel Gurolla says. “But a cop can take somebody's life, and they just get a stripe or something, that's all they’re going to do, we all know that, Bakersfield is known for that."
Gurrola says their family is from Los Angeles. They are staying with him at the hospital.
No officers were injured in the shooting. Police are still investigating.