The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office has completed its review of the officer-involved shooting which occurred on July 30, 2020. This incident happened in Chino and involved the Chino Police Department. The shooting was investigated by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

On July 30, 2020, at 3:43 pm, the Chino Police Department received a call from Gary Hardy, Jr. Mr. Hardy requested that an officer respond to his location because he was receiving threatening messages on his phone.

Mr. Hardy believed organized crime might be involved and that they were able to read his text messages. The police dispatcher asked Mr. Hardy multiple times to come to the front of the police station, but he declined. Mr. Hardy stated he was afraid to go to the station and appear to be “snitching.” He told the dispatcher he was already parked about 500 yards south of the police station, and this was as close as he wanted to get.

A few minutes after Mr. Hardy’s phone call, Officer Hall was assigned to the call, with the dispatcher informing Officer Hall about Mr. Hardy’s complaint and location.

Approximately seven minutes after being dispatched, Officer Hall contacted Mr. Hardy at a rear business parking lot located at 12460 10th Street in Chino. There were no other people present in the parking lot at the time.

Mr. Hardy was in a vehicle matching the description he gave to the dispatcher. Initially, Officer Hall spoke to Mr. Hardy through the open driver’s window of his marked black and white police car. Mr. Hardy confirmed he was the person who called for help, so Officer Hall parked and exited his car.

Officer Hall walked towards Mr. Hardy as Mr. Hardy sat in his truck; they spoke to each other through Mr. Hardy’s open driver’s window. Mr. Hardy told Officer Hall people were sending text messages threatening to kill his family. Officer Hall asked Mr. Hardy who had sent him those messages and what their number was. Before Mr. Hardy gave that information, Officer Hall turned away from Mr. Hardy and reached inside his police car to turn on the air conditioning.

As Officer Hall returned to face Mr. Hardy again, Mr. Hardy stepped out of his truck with a 10-inch fixed-bladed knife in his right hand and a rifle bolt in his left hand. Mr. Hardy stepped towards Officer Hall and said, “Sorry, man.” At the time, Officer Hall believed Mr. Hardy was going to give him his cell phone. Without noticing what was in Mr. Hardy’s hands, Officer Hall said, “It’s alright.”

When Officer Hall saw that Mr. Hardy held a large knife, Officer Hall drew his duty weapon with his right hand and pointed it at Mr. Hardy. Mr. Hardy took a few steps backward and away from Officer Hall. Officer Hall also took a few steps backward and away from Mr. Hardy.

Officer Hall told Mr. Hardy, “Put it down.” Officer Hall continued to step backward, but Mr. Hardy began to step towards Officer Hall, saying, “Kill me.”

Officer Hall told Mr. Hardy, “Put it down.” Mr. Hardy continued to step towards Officer Hall and again said, “Kill me.” Officer Hall used his police radio to tell dispatch Mr. Hall had a knife.

Mr. Hardy repeated, “Kill me,” while appearing to quicken his steps toward the retreating officer. Officer Hall fired his weapon at Mr. Hardy. Officer Hall believed Mr. Hardy was about 10 to 15 feet from him when he fired his weapon. Mr. Hardy fell to the ground and onto his right side. Officer Hall immediately attempted to make a radio transmission of what had happened so additional police officers could respond to his location.

Approximately nine seconds passed between when Mr. Hardy first stepped out of his truck and when Officer Hall first fired his weapon at Mr. Hardy.

Officer Frank Wilson and Corporal David Thompson arrived just as Officer Hall fired his weapon and Mr. Hardy fell to the ground.

Corporal Thompson radioed, “Shots fired,” and both he and Officer Wilson exited their police cars. Corporal Thompson and Officer Wilson quickly drew their pistols and pointed them at Mr. Hardy as he lay on the ground.

Initially, Corporal Thompson, Officer Hall, and Officer Wilson believed Mr. Hardy was reaching for his knife. Corporal Thompson, Officer Hall, and Officer Wilson gave Mr. Hardy commands to drop his knife. Corporal Thompson and both officers took cover behind another vehicle in the parking lot as additional officers arrived at their location.

Less than five minutes after Officer Hall fired his weapon, a team of eight or nine police officers approached Mr. Hardy behind a wall of three ballistic shields. Mr. Hardy’s knife was at his feet, and the rifle bolt was under him; both of those weapons were moved away from their original position on the ground as a safety precaution.

Mr. Hardy was handcuffed, and officers immediately began applying first aid. A few minutes later, Chino Valley Fire Department (CVFD) medics arrived and took over life-saving measures. However, Mr. Hardy succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene at 4:39 pm.

With the assistance of a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department (SBCoSD) Crime Scene Specialist, the case agent processed the scene and collected evidence. After examining the scene and Officer Hall’s weapon, it was determined Officer Hall fired his Sig Sauer P320 RX, 9mm semi-automatic pistol four times during this lethal force encounter.

An SBCoSD Forensic Pathologist determined after an autopsy that Mr. Hardy suffered two gunshot wounds to the right shoulder, both with a front-to-back trajectory. Only one of the wounds was determined to have been fatal. The forensic pathologist opined that the fatal gunshot would have caused Mr. Hardy’s death within minutes.


The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department investigated this shooting. A review of the investigation, reports, evidence and statements was completed by the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office.

Based on the facts presented in the reports and the applicable law, our office concluded that the officers’ use of lethal force was a proper exercise of his rights of self-defense and defense of others, and his actions were legally justified.


By providing a thorough explanation to the community regarding the review of officer-involved shootings, it is the intention of District Attorney Jason Anderson and the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office to maintain the community’s confidence and trust in its law enforcement officers and district attorney’s office.

Key Points of This Incident

  • Mr. Hardy called the Chino Police Department requesting to speak with an officer.
  • Mr. Hardy refused to go to the police station.
  • Mr. Hardy armed himself with two weapons, one being a large knife.
  • Mr. Hardy approached the police officer and instructed the officer to kill him.
  • Mr. Hardy aggressively advanced towards the police officer with the weapons.
  • In defense of his own life, the police officer fired his weapon at Mr. Hardy.
  • Mr. Hardy’s dangerous conduct was immediately stopped.

Police officers are trained to respond to these types of situations. They continually update their training as new situations and techniques are encountered or identified.

Additionally, police officers have equipment on their belts, vests, and vehicles, which they use to complete their duties.

Police officers are expected and authorized to use the equipment to protect themselves and others from suffering injuries or death. To some, watching a police officer using physical force against another person can be upsetting or disturbing.

Police officers prefer to use the least amount of force, whether it be their mere presence or verbal commands, to diffuse situations. However, there are situations, such as this incident, in which deadly force is necessary for the community’s safety and the police officers’ safety.

In rapidly tense situations, officers do not have a great deal of time planning, revising, or analyzing a crisis, such as readers of this article. When a situation evolves, officers must make the best decisions possible to protect and save lives in a condensed amount of time.

The community expects that the people they call upon to protect them, which are police officers, will not back down, be intimidated, or run scared when a dangerous situation or person is presented to the officer to handle.

Police officers are not required, nor is it expected, that they have to sustain injury before using force. Instead, it is their right to defend themselves, as well as members of the public and fellow police officers, from becoming injured or killed by another person or persons.

In this particular incident, based on Mr. Hardy’s actions and statements, he may have been suffering from some form of a mental health issue, as he wanted the police officer to kill him.

Mr. Hardy decided to call the police department on July 30, 2020, to summon a police officer to his location.

While speaking with the police officer, Mr. Hardy chose to arm himself with a large knife and the bolt of a rifle. Mr. Hardy decided to approach the officer with the weapons while instructing the police officer to terminate his life.

Mr. Hardy decided not to follow the officer’s instructions to put the weapons down. Instead, Mr. Hardy decided to advance quickly towards the officer.

To protect himself, Officer Hall stopped Mr. Hardy’s dangerous and violent conduct by shooting him with his firearm.

There is an extreme likelihood this shooting would not have occurred if the following had happened:

  • Mr. Hardy had not armed himself with weapons.
  • Mr. Hardy followed the officer’s instructions to drop his weapons.
  • Mr. Hardy did not advance towards the officer while holding the weapons.


The district attorney’s office has always reviewed Officer-involved shootings in San Bernardino County.

Upon taking office, District Attorney Jason Anderson wanted a dedicated team of trained and experienced deputy district attorneys and investigators to review these shootings and respond to the scene of shootings.

Please visit to learn more about this team.

As the district attorney’s office, we realize the entire community is affected when force is used by the police, regardless of the situation or circumstances. Our responsibility is to ensure that all parties involved in cases such as the one involving Mr. Hardy acted lawfully.


View San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office Public Release Memorandum: Gary Hardy


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