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Bodycam footage from fatal shooting of 21-year-old shows harrowing new details on first day of trial

UPDATED: Tue., Oct. 26, 2021

Defendant Christian J. Robinson, center, stands with his defense team at his trial in the Spokane County Courthouse on Tuesday for the shooting of Christian Salazar at the Hillyard McDonald’s restaurant in 2020.  (JESSE TINSLEY/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
Defendant Christian J. Robinson, center, stands with his defense team at his trial in the Spokane County Courthouse on Tuesday for the shooting of Christian Salazar at the Hillyard McDonald’s restaurant in 2020. (JESSE TINSLEY/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

A Spokane police officer’s era footage from a fatal shooting in February 2020 reveals the final moments of a 21-year-old man who was shot and killed in the parking lot of a McDonald’s after an argument over missing cell phones.

Prosecutors say Christian J. Robinson, 28, shot and killed Christian G. Salazar in a parking lot on Market Street around 1 a.m. on Feb. 3, 2020. Robinson is now on trial facing a charge of second-degree murder.

A jury saw the bodycam footage Tuesday morning in the county’s case against Robinson and heard new details from a witness who was with Salazar in his final moments.

The night of Feb. 2, 2020, Salazar was with two women at Crave Bar, one of whom, Marisha Seyler, 25, testified to the jury Tuesday morning in Spokane County Superior Court. Seyler said they accepted drinks from three men, one of them identified as Robinson, that night at the bar.

When the men went somewhere else in the bar, Seyler said she believed her female acquaintance may have taken a phone that wasn’t hers. Seyler, the female companion and Salazar then left around midnight for McDonald’s on Market Street in northeast Spokane, according to court documents.

The men told police at the time they used a cellphone finder app and tracked the three to the McDonald’s parking lot, court documents say. After Seyler and Salazar ordered their food and parked somewhere to eat, she saw a pickup truck pull into the lot, she told the court.

Two men and Robinson approached Salazar and the two women in their car, with Robinson on the passenger side and Salazar in the driver’s seat. The men told police at the time they were searching for two missing cellphones.

The men did not directly threaten violence but were acting aggressively, Seyler said.

While the suspect was at Seyler’s window on the passenger side, she said he pulled out a handgun and shot past her at Salazar.

Spokane police Officer Anthony Guzzo’s body camera footage was shown to the jury, who watched Guzzo’s point of view as he arrived on the scene at 1:20 a.m.

Robinson was at the scene when Guzzo arrived and followed the officer’s orders to walk slowly backward with his arms extended, the footage showed.

While on the stand Tuesday morning, Guzzo testified the suspect was cooperative and did not attempt to leave the scene at any point.

The officer said he then walked toward the victim’s car, where he found Salazar “slumped over” the steering wheel.

Bodycam footage showed how Guzzo pulled Salazar from the car and started to give aid. At this point, Salazar still had a pulse, Guzzo is heard saying in the body camera footage. Salazar died before he reached the hospital.

The county medical examiner’s office said Salazar died of a gunshot wound to the head.

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