Former wife of Metro officer in Gibson killing gives disturbing account of shooting aftermath
Jesus Arevalo allegedly made racist remarks regarding Gulf War vet he fatally shot after a standoff with police in 2011
Metro police officer Jesus Arevalo (above) shot and killed Stanley Gibson with an AR-15 assault rifle after a police standoff at the Alondra Condominiums, Dec. 12, 2011. Gibson, a Gulf War veteran, is believed to have been suffering from the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder at the time of the incident. He was unarmed. photo by courtesy of Veterans in Politics.
March 04, 2013Metro police officer Jesus Arevalo made racist remarks regarding Stanley Gibson, the man he killed during a police standoff in December 2011, according to former wife Catherine Arevalo.
"He said to me, 'So am I a bad person for not feeling guilty for killing that n-----?", Catherine said in a March 3 interview with Steve Sanson and Andre Haynes of Veterans in Politics, an advocacy group who is pushing for official action against some officers and policy change as a result of the incident.
The Arevalo's had been separated less than three months before the early morning Dec. 12, 2011 incident.
Gibson, a Gulf War veteran who suffered from Post-Traumatic stress disorder, was disoriented when his Cadillac was blocked by officers responding to reports of an attempted break-in at the Alondra Condominiums. Gibson did not respond to commands delivered by bullhorn, and remained in the vehicle.
After 29 minutes, an officer shot a beanbag through the rear passenger window with a low-lethal shotgun, with the plan to insert a pepper stray canister into the hole to force Gibson from the vehicle.
A fraction of a second later, Arevalo opened fire with his personal weapon, an AR 15 assault rifle, hitting Gibson five times and killing him almost instantly. Gibson was unarmed.
Arevalo told homicide investigator Clifford Mogg he believed the bean bag shot was fired from inside the vehicle directed at officers, a claim Catherine said he made to her also.
She said she found out about her estranged husband's involvement in the shooting on Christmas Eve and spoke with him the following day.
"I was curious," she said. "I wanted to see how he was doing because of this. At first it was…'this is what happened to me, can you believe it?'. It was about him. He's good at manipulating words to make you feel a certain way. It was 'poor me.' He was very somber about it.
"Then after a while it started turning into, almost as if it was Gibson's fault. He was turning it into suicide by cop. He just became really cold and callous about it."
Catherine said her former husband was proud of his marksmanship when he fired on Gibson.
"He told me, 'check out the grouping, that's pretty good, getting off seven shots in two seconds," she said. "Some of these comments were just….so sickening."
Catherine said Arevalo was never physically violent during in their relationship, but was often verbally abusive, controlling and displayed other behaviors she found disturbing.
"He's very homophobic and very racist," she said. "He used to call (their child) 'a little n-----."
According to Catherine, Arevalo sent his brother a text message in 2010, shortly after their child was born, reading 'As I watch my wife sleep, I think about how easy it would be to cut her throat.'
The divorce became final Feb. 23.
Catherine and Jesus appeared in court at the Regional Justice Center Feb. 12 for a protection order filed by her boyfriend, Steven Dalao, stemming from an alleged threat Arevalo made against him on the Canyon Ridge Christian Church campus, Feb. 2.
"I work as a volunteer at the church once or twice a month," said Delao. "I was sitting out in the courtyard, just kicking back, Mr. Arevalo comes walking across the campus, he pulls his shirt off, throws it to the ground. His 15-year old daughter is following. She's picking up his shirt as two security guards from the church are coming to head him off. He's shouting obscenities, calling me a f----t and all kinds of other stuff."
Also in the courtroom was Rondha Gibson, Stanley's widow, who says she had never before seen Arevalo or heard his voice. She shook visibly and buried her head against a companion's shoulder as Arevalo spoke.
The officer requested and was granted a continuance from Judge Eric Goodman, due to the presence of "the media and people here because of an incident at work who have no business being here," Arevalo said, apparently referring to Gibson and other observers in the courtroom, which is open to the public.
Rondha Gibson (in black) listens to testimony during the Feb. 28 fact-finding hearing into the officer-involved shooting death of her husband Stanley Gibson in 2011. To Gibson’s right is Steve Sanson, President of Veterans in Politics. photo by Buford Davis.
Arevalo averted his eyes from the corner of the gallery where Gibson was sitting near Sanson and other news media members. He shielded the side of his face with a yellow note pad as he exited.
Rondha Gibson and Catherine Arevalo met for the first time as they exited the courtroom. The women embraced for more than a minute and both were crying during portions of their private conversation.
"I want to see justice for Stanley Gibson," Catherine told Sanson and Haynes the day before the meeting. "And I can't even imagine how his poor wife feels."
"I wish her peace and closure," she said, her voice beginning to break.
Arevalo is scheduled to appear in court again April 11 regarding Delao's PPO filing. To date he has not been charged with any crime relating to the Gibson shooting and remains on paid administrative leave from Metro.
"There are good cops out there," said Catherine. "I did not find one."