A 23-year-old Los Angeles police officer who is also an Instagram influencer and gun model has been sued by the family of a man who she fatally shot in April. Toni McBride was responding to a car collision when Daniel Hernandez approached her with a box cutter, according to police.
Body cam footage of the incident shows McBride telling bystanders to clear the area. She then calls out to Hernandez, "Let me see your hands, man!" and orders him to stop.
"Stay right there. Drop the knife! Drop the knife!" McBride says. He continues to approach before McBride shoots. Hernandez collapses to the ground and starts to get back up. "Drop it," McBride says, before firing at him again — a total of six times. Police say Hernandez had meth in his system.
McBride has over 78,000 followers on Instagram. Social media videos show her firing at a gun range with speed and accuracy. She's also trained alongside stars like Keanu Reeves and was on the cover of a magazine popular with police and firearm enthusiasts.
Hernandez's family claim in a lawsuit that McBride used unlawful and excessive force.
"There could have been so many different things she could have done," Hernandez's sister Marina Vergara told Inside Edition. "There should have been a de-escalation. He was in an accident. We believe it was excessive force."
McBride's attorney said she acted appropriately.
"It's very clear from the video as you can see that she was imminently in fear of her life. There's a person coming at her with a knife. And not just her life, but you look at all of the citizens around her that she's also sworn to protect."
McBride remains on duty as the LAPD investigates.