SWAT attorney: 71 shots in 7 seconds 'standard operation'

A defense attorney for the Pima County Sheriff's SWAT team defended the actions of the officers, saying it was a "standard operation."

"When you take into account five shooters, it doesn't seem excessive," says Mike Storie.

The five officers fired 71 shots into a small hallway in seven seconds, killing former Marine Jose Guerena.

Officers were trying to serve a search warrant, and say the 26-year-old pointed a gun at them.

"This is a standard operation," says Storie. "The only thing unusual about this operation is unseen."

Unseen, because while a one-minute videotape released by the sheriff's department shows the actions of the officers, what is not seen is what is going on inside the house when the shooting happened.

"Put yourself in their shoes as they breech the door, fully marked as police," he says. "They faced an AR-15. What would you do?"

There's no way to confirm what the officers saw. Although the officers were separated and gave statements after the shooting. They told essentially the same story, Storie said.

What's evident on the tape, is that the officers fired very quickly. Guerena has 20 wounds on his body, most from bullets, but others could have been fragments of wood or other flying debris, officials said.

Storie says the officers were trying to protect one of their own.

The officer in the video who is carrying the shield - the first one into the house once the door was breeched - tripped and fell. The other officers then used what's known as "suppressive" firing.

They were, as seen on the video, trying to drag the officer away from the front door.

"Officers are taught to keep firing until the threat is resolved," Storie says.

When asked, Storie says the officer  carrying the shield "didn't panic, he simply lost his balance."

The shield weighs about 30 pounds and the officer was holding it in one hand while firing a handgun with the other.

The shield would not have been able to protect the officer from a bullet from an AR-15.

A lawyer for Guerena's family would only say they are "conducting their own investigation and would not comment further."

A call to Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik went unanswered.

Storie says some officers did "not empty their clips," at least three of them still had rounds in their weapons after the shooting. Although, in documents released on Thursday, one officer said he kept shooting "until his weapon ran dry."