Traffic Stop Turns Deadly: Man Dies in Stockton Police Custody

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

STOCKTON --

Stockton's El Dorado Market is always buzzing, but Tuesday the talk there wasn't about dinner party plans or the neighborhood kids.

"They just piled on him and beat him, and then they zapped him, I don't know how many times, and killed him," said butcher and co-owner George Solorio as he chatted with a shopper over the counter.

Co-workers of Jose Cordoba like Solorio and Cordoba's customers couldn't stop talking about what they say was the young butcher's questionable death after being tased by city police.

"You come inside the store and he was like the sunshine here, um, never mad. I mean he was just a happy guy, hardworking guy. Very like, it's just tragic," said cashier Yszenia Chavez.

"I couldn't believe it. I said, 'no way.'  I said, 'what did he do?' And then I found out he didn't do nothing. He had his hands up surrendering," said Solorio.

According to police accounts, the 28-year old-Cordoba was stopped right next to the market where he worked during a citywide traffic enforcement sweep.

Sergeant Matt Garlick and Officer Lucas Woodward say he was driving erratically on Clay just after 9 p.m. Monday.

As Cordoba got out of his car, Alejandro Martinez was watching.

"'I'm OK. I'm OK man. I have no guns.'  That's what he say.  He was really scared. And when he hear the other police, with the gun, the one that makes electricity, I don't know how to say, he got more scared. And he tried to run and they go after him," recalled Martinez.

Cordoba was chased into a strip mall a block away  -- a place where officers say he physically fought them before being tased.

"I just hear like..'ow ... ow' something like that," said Martinez.

Cordoba  later died at a local hospital.

Surveillance cameras at Fiesta Auto Insurance captured some of his last moments.

Owners say they've given those images to police, but would not share them with FOX40.

Now as candles are lit and a police protocol investigation is underway, co-workers are raising money to send their friend's remains back to family in Mexico.

All are left with questions.

"Oh, this is not right...you know," said Martinez.

"I believe they jumped in and did something to him, and they killed him."

Investigators are looking at toxicology reports to tell them if Cordoba was high or drunk at the time of the incident.

The two officers involved have been placed on paid administrative leave.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.