Orange County

Shocking New Video Shows Man Shot in Head in Orange County Walmart

The woman who was with the man deputies shot inside the Walmart said she didn't know he had a weapon, and "carrying a gun into Walmart is like a death sentence."

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As the Orange County Sheriff’s Department releases incredibly disturbing bodycam video of deputies shooting a man in a Walmart, the woman with the man that day is explaining what happened Jan. 19.

Ernesto Paul Aguilar, 30, is still recovering from a gunshot to the head.

The woman who was with him that day said she didn’t know he had a knife or a gun. In her words, "carrying a gun into Walmart is like a death sentence."

Deputies said they were called to the Foothill Ranch Walmart to stop a man and a woman allegedly trying to steal some merchandise.

In the video from three different body-worn cameras, deputies can be heard talking with an employee who said she saw a "fake Walmart receipt" on Aguilar's phone, and that he had "high-end merchandise" in his cart.

A deputy opened fire Wednesday night inside a Walmart on Towne Centre Drive in Foothill Ranch, leaving one man wounded. Vikki Vargas reports for NBCLA on Jan. 20, 2022.

The woman with Aguilar that day is his friend who told NBCLA they were shopping for her.

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"He was buying me toys and diapers for my children. Any time someone calls Ernie to help them out he’s willing to help them out," she said.

Orange County Sheriff’s deputies walk up to Aguilar and the woman in the video, who pulls out a wad of cash, and says he was getting ready to pay for the items in his cart.

The deputies said if they would like to leave peacefully, Aguilar and the woman may do so.

The deputies said they were going to charge Aguilar with trespassing. They explain that they are not going to jail, but the trespassing charge will block them from re-entering the store in the future.

They escorted the woman away from him and asked Aguilar to go outside.

"Why are doing this, you’re like 40 years old and you're still stealing, dude? Get a job. Let’s go," the deputy can be heard saying.

Seconds later, a deputy sees a knife in Aguilar’s right pocket. Aguilar puts his hand down by his pocket and proceeds to pull it out.

"Don’t reach for it! Get your f***ing hand off it," the deputy says.

Aguilar then says, "sorry, sir."

"I heard the deputy say 'get the f out of the store' and then the two deputies closest to him started grabbing him," she said.

After this, the video shows deputies trying to handcuff Aguilar, who is asking for people nearby to help him.

One of the deputies says to stop resisting, and Aguilar says he is freaking out.

They wrestle to the floor inside the Walmart store.

A sheriff’s department deputy can be heard on the video saying, "He's got a gun! Shoot him!"

A witness nearby joins in on the fracas and holds Aguilar down, also saying, "shoot him" at one point.

A deputy pulls out a gun and shoots Aguilar.

In the incredibly disturbing footage, he can then be heard saying, "I'm dying."

The deputies then call for help and say he has been shot in the head.

The woman says she got in her car and left, and did not see the rest of the struggle. She was detained and questioned when she got home.

"I wasn’t under arrest, didn’t commit a crime, so even if they got my license plate I didn’t think they’d come and get me for anything because I didn’t commit a crime," she said.

The woman says Aguilar had $1,000 in cash and was going to pay for the items in his cart.

"I just thought he got beat up real bad. I thought that’s why they put him in the hospital. I didn’t know he got shot in the head," she said.

She was not arrested.

"I’m traumatized. Just thinking about Walmart makes me want to throw up. I will never step foot inside a Walmart ever again in my life," she said.

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