A Banning man charged with fatally shooting an unarmed nightclub patron during a scuffle took aim at the victim and fired at him from less than five feet away, a police officer testified today.
"I saw a silver-looking semi-automatic pistol in his right hand, extended in front of him, pointing it directly at the older guy," Beaumont police Officer Brent Conan said. "The older man started backing up. I yelled at the younger guy, 'Drop the gun,' and about that time, there was a second shot."
Conan was called to testify in the trial of Demario Anton Jackson, who faces 50 years to life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder, as well as sentence-enhancing gun and great bodily injury allegations, in the July 16, 2011, death of 46-year-old Andy Albarran.
Jackson, 26, and Albarran were among several hundred people who went to see a live show at Celebrities Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge in the 500 block of Beaumont Avenue in Beaumont on the night of the shooting.
Conan testified that he went alone to the location anticipating he would spot drunken drivers leaving the club. The officer said he was surprised by the number of people spilling out of the bar, and his attention was soon directed to an apparent physical confrontation involving several men in the adjacent Wells Fargo bank parking lot.
"I heard what sounded like a high-pitched pop and thought it might be a firecracker or gunshot," the officer testified. "I couldn't tell where it came from. I drew my firearm and continued toward the crowd and saw an older Hispanic man and a younger black man fighting."
According to Conan, he witnessed Jackson fire at point-blank range into Albarran, striking the victim in the upper body.
"That's when I fired my gun at the shooter," Conan testified.
"How many times did you fire it?" asked Riverside County Deputy District Attorney Jon Brandon.
"I thought it was four, but I was later told I'd fired five times," Conan replied, admitting it was his first time to shoot at another person.
The officer said Jackson stumbled and collapsed onto the ground, while Albarran, mortally wounded in the lung and also hit in the shoulder, staggered backward, stepped off the curb and fell face-down onto the pavement.
The victim's teenage son, who had been trying to break up the fight between his father and Jackson, dove onto the pavement next to his father, screaming for an ambulance, according to Conan.
Jackson was shot in the leg and upper body. He underwent surgery and made a full recovery.
According to testimony, both the defendant and the officer were armed with .45-caliber handguns. Albarran had no weapons on him.
Brandon said the reason for the altercation has never been confirmed. The defense maintains the shooting was an act of self-defense.
Testimony in the trial is expected to wrap up tomorrow.
Jackson is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside. According to court records, he has prior convictions, mainly for traffic violations. At the time of the shooting, he was out on bail for an August 2010 arrest for allegedly carrying a gun without a permit, driving under the influence and resisting arrest.