(CNN) – A man who was shot by Bakersfield police last week after being pulled over is speaking out about the incident. CNN met with him in jail, and asked him why he approached police with a gun.
Last Monday, 29 year old Jose Vaca was pulled over while driving with a friend on Oswell Street in east Bakersfield.
He got out of the car holding a rifle, startling the police officers, who opened fire. He says he never planned to shoot the officers rather he wanted to test a theory he had about police brutality.
It was the Monday night before Christmas when Jose Vaca was pulled over. Inside his car was a rifle he had bought at a flea market, which he was not legally allowed to have.
Jose Vaca said, “I exit my vehicle I come to the front of the police vehicle and i put my butt of the rifle on the floor and i just like, put my had up.”
Without warning, he says, the officer now identified as Christian Hernandez, opened fire.
Vaca said, “Soon as i hit the ground I just attempted to play dead, and they fired a few more shots at me from the back as i was lying on the ground.”
He says he was shot 12 times, with three of the bullets passing completely through his body – and was taken to the hospital.
Vaca said, “It’s a blessing i am alive.”
Vaca claims he had no intention of shooting the officers and he dismissed the notion that he was trying to commit suicide.
So why bring the gun out of the car with him?
Jose Vaca: “I told my friend one day that i wanted her to believe all police officers are good.”
That was a conversation about police brutality he says he had months ago, so when he got pulled over, he says, he thought it was the perfect opportunity to prove his point.
Jose Vaca: “First thing that came to my mind, is I’m already going to get pulled over, I know they’re most likely going to take me in, but I’m going to need to try my theory real quick and see that it’s true so she can believe there is good officers in the world.”
Looking back, however, he realizes the experiment was ill-conceived.
So how do you think that experiment went?
Vaca: “Completely bad, completely bad, never again.”
Though, ironically, he says, he now has an answer to his question.
Jose Vaca: “Do you think they were good cops? Yea, cause they didn’t know what to expect.”
He is currently being held on 400- thousand dollars bail, booked on 11 different criminal counts. He’s scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.