California police officer fatally shoots man who witnesses claim was unarmed and mentally challenged

The New York Daily News

A San Diego-area officer fatally shot a man who witnesses claim was mentally challenged and unarmed Tuesday afternoon, marking the latest victim in an unsettling series of black men killed by police.

Gunfire rang out around 2 p.m. local time in a parking lot at the Broadway Village Shopping Center in El Cajon, Calif. after police had received multiple calls about a man who was “not acting like himself,” Police Chief Jeff Davis told the Daily News in a statement.

Upon arriving, the first responding officer discovered a black male in his 30s frantically pacing back and forth, “not only endangering himself, but motorists,” Davis said. 

The officer allegedly ordered the man to remove his hand from his front pant pocket. When the man didn’t comply, the officer drew his firearm.

A second officer arrived shortly thereafter and prepared to stun the man with a Taser. But as the officer prepared the electronic device, the man allegedly pulled out an object from his pocket, placed his hands together and took “what appeared to be a shooting stance,” Davis said.

Both officers discharged their weapons simultaneously, fatally striking the man with several bullets as well as a high-voltage Taser shock. He was rushed to a hospital where he was pronounced dead Tuesday evening.

Police released a grainy screengrab that appears to show the victim with his hands locked together as two officers surround him with their weapons drawn. The screengrab, Davis said, is taken from cellphone footage recorded by a standerby.

“That was the only phone provided to officers in this investigaion,” Davis said.

Police would not immediately say what the object the victim pulled from his pocket was, but noted no weapons were retrieved from the scene.

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