Cop shoots man in face in El Cajon

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EL CAJON, Calif. — An El Cajon police officer shot an unarmed bicyclist in the face Friday when the man moved his hands toward his waist as if trying to pull out a weapon, authorities said.

The shooting happened shortly after 10 a.m. in the 1300 block of East Main Street near Walter Way.

The officer observed a bicycle rider make an illegal U-turn in front of the Best Car 4U used car lot, El Cajon police Lt. Tim Henton said. When the officer ordered the rider to stop, the rider looked at him and continued riding away, so the officer got out of his patrol car and chased after the man, Henton said.

The man finally stopped and as the officer approached, he moved his hands to his waist, Henton said. The officer ordered to man to remove his hand, and when he didn’t comply, he shot him, fearing for his life, Henton said.

The man was taken to a local trauma center and was expected to survive, Henton said.

The officer has been placed on administrative leave pending and internal department investigation of the shooting, Henton said.



  • mike

    dammm whatever happen to tasering people… or are they just too lazy to taser someone. Poor guy going for a ride on his bike and bamm shot in the face.

  • Guest

    What ever happened to respecting the commands of the police officer so you dont get shot. You don't bring a taser to a gun fight.

    • Rational Thinker

      I wouldn't classify this as a gun fight!!!! While respecting the commands of an officer is necessary, shooting someone in the face for not listening to those commands is COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY!!

      • Rational(er) Thinker

        So the officer should wait until the assailant draws a weapon and shoots at him? That would be returning fire, which is very difficult to do once you have been shot. If someone is reaching in their waist (where criminals put guns) and refuse to stop doing that, then yes, shoot that person. If a cop tells me to do something, I do that thing. If I don't do that thing I deserve to be shot.

    • the PoDunk Punk

      failure to respect the cops demands is not justification for getting shot. draw down and be prepared to shoot if need be, but to just shoot without just provocation shows a lack of respect on the behalf of this officer toward his fellow man.

      • Rational(er) Thinker

        Please refer to the portion of the article that denotes that this was an unprovoked shooting.

  • chuckie

    I believe the law enforcement community is getting a little afraid and reacting with deadly force. the man didn't have to be shot in the face.

    • Rational(er) Thinker

      Is the chest a better spot? Are officers becoming too afraid and reacting, or are citizens becoming to brazen and disrespectful. I've said it before, and I will say it again. If an officer tells me to do something, I do that thing. If I don't do that thing, you better shoot me, because I have something to hide. Innocent people are NOT being shot at people. Understand that.

  • Rational Thinker

    Cowboy cops! If you are that scared you probably shouldn't be a police officer! The guy would have been better off continuing to ignore him,. He probably would have only got hit by a tazer if he had just kept pedaling rather than getting SHOT IN THE FACE!?!?

    Shot in the face, can we talk about that really quick? Why not the leg? Arm? No, the face…really got get your point across huh??

    • johndesd

      I don't approve or disapprove of the methodology, but cops don't shoot to maim, they shoot to kill, to immediately eliminate the threat. Maiming someone does not eliminate the threat or necessarily pacify the suspect. I think all cops across the country are trained in this manner.

      • Rational Thinker

        Incorrect. The do not "shoot to kill", they aim for "centre mass" (chest, heart area) if they feel deadly force is necessary. So even if you take this methodology and relate it to the current event, the officer would still be wrong.

        I'd like to know why this cop thought "deadly force" was acceptable!

        • Rational(er) Thinker

          What kind of pistol do you own Rational Thinker? Ever shot at a moving target with said pistol? PERHAPS!!!!!! The man made a motion as the officer fired at center mass? Could it be? Gasp! We don't have all of the facts. Period.

          • Rational Thinker

            Regardless of where he was shot, the fact is that he was shot…

            Here is a great fact for you….
            UNARMED man was shot

          • Guest

            Stupid "unarmed" man shot. Why the heck would you even fake going for a weapon? Do so and face (no pun intended) the consequences.

          • Rational(er) Thinker

            Here is a great fact for you… UNARMED man that was reaching in his waistband was shot. Where criminals store their weapons.

          • Rational Thinker

            Still unarmed.

            …and "where criminals store their weapons" is an assumption not a fact. Try to at least appear intelligent if you are going to try and outsmart me.

          • Guest

            You have obviously never taken a dangerous weapon off of a dirtbag before, right? Maybe you should pipe down until you actually do have to. In your mind, I guess the officer should have waited to see what the dirtbag was doing reaching into his waistband before he pulls out his firearm, huh? But then if it was a gun, we may have had a dead officer instead of a (lucky for him) shot dirtbag.

    • LCpl Rosas

      officers are trained to shoot to kill, if the officer is in fear for his life he is allowed by law to use deadly force to stop the threat. shooting someone in the arm is not deadly force and is unlikely the officer could hit such a small body mass under those circumstances.

  • Michael

    Wow! So many other places to shoot. Well, if the guy was poor, here comes his pay day. Poor guy, the face. really?

  • Bro

    Good for this officer!!!!! Why don’t people just listen. Its not a matter of being scared, it is a matter of protecting our community and law enforcement. I’m sure he just had his gun up and it the quick moment thats where the guy got shot. It was not unnecessary at all. I am proud of this officer and wish him and his family the best. He did his job. Thank you ECPD.

  • Shane

    How about what was in his waistban. DID HE HAVE A GUN? In El Cajon police know all the homeless people. Also why did this highly trained officer shoot him in the face? Really? Not an arm to wound, Not the chest to finish it but the face. Sound like someone needs to go back to the shooting range.

    • Rational(er) Thinker

      I agree. His name is Shane. He should go to a simulator where things move unexpectedly. Just like real life.



    • Rational(er) Thinker

      What if…. The man DID make a quick motion pulling his hand from his waistline???????? Does that change your thinking? So many assumptions about this "innocent" man. Either way, he has a ticket to pay.

    • Shane

      You must not know ECPD very well. His gun was in his hand from the moment he got out of the car. There was also probably a second police car there too. MARK MY WORDS>

  • Pissed

    That just shows you that this country is becoming a police state! In the face? Really!? Totally uncalled for. Like a few have said on here, there are other places to shoot at, why the face? I'm not proud of this officer. Whatever happened to serve and PROTECT?! Even if the guy had a gun, he could've aimed anywhere else to disable the guy. The officer clearly wanted a kill under his belt.

    • LCpl Rosas

      officers dont shoot to disable, they shoot to kill or stop the threat. have you ever fired a weapon and tried to shoot something as small as someones arm? torso or head shot only.

  • Guest

    Boy…the cyclist's lawyer is going to have a field day with the ECPD on this. What if the officer flinched more and the bullet went to the head? He should have been aiming elsewhere.

  • Jerome

    It is refreshing to see that the arm chair quarterbacks are out in force. In our modern society, some crooks think it's funny to act like they have a gun. They make sudden movements and don't comply to get a reaction or cause fear. That could be the case here and as it appears he caused enough fear that the officer used deadly force.

    • Shane

      Jerome he was a homeless man on a bike. He wasn't some thug. He didn't do a drive by. He was a homeless man on a bike. And got shot in the face cause he didn't stop on the street. On his bike. He put his hands somewhere near his waistband. DID THIS OFFICER SEE ANY SORT OF A WEAPON? I DONT THINK SO. #1 THE MAN WAS HOMELESS! # 2 has a gun you would think he might have sold it for some fast cash. Or just become a bank robber. This officer has to have a reason to shoot. He had none. I would be willing to bet the police car dash cam also wasn't pointed at the shooting or it wasn't on. Anytime police stop someone the camera is supposed to be on what is going on.

  • johndesd

    I'm sorry the suspect was shot in the face and I would have been equally sorry if the cop was likewise shot., but hands going to the waistband sounds like the suspect was simulating a weapon, and the cop did what he was trained to do. As harsh as it sounds, cops are trained to kill immediate threats (to protect bystanders and themselves), they are never trained to "wing" someone (if any cops are reading this, please let me know if I'm incorrect). Even if the cop had a taser, his training would have shifted him to his sidearm the moment the suspect started simulating a weapon, especially if the cop was alone.

  • marti

    It's easy to judge and make comments condemning the actions of the officer, but unless you were actually there you really have no right to judge. When you walk in someone else's shoes than maybe you can judge…. Not saying it was right or wrong because I do not know the facts of the incident.

  • ...

    So proud of this officer. He did nothing wrong. Maybe people should try and listen!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you ECPD and I wish this officer and family the best. – A sheriffs wife

    • Rational Thinker

      You are a horrible person…hands down! How can you be proud of someone for shooting an unarmed man!

      • ...

        A horrible person…really?!?!?! Why? Bc this officer did what he was trained to do? This person was no listening and would not take his hands away from his waistband and when he moved more thats when the officer reacted. You are a horrible person for thinking this cop just shot a man for no reason. I know this officer personally and the cops that were first on scene. Doubt you do!

        • Rational Thinker

          You make it sound like you were there….
          "This person was no listening and would not take his hands away from his waistband and when he moved more thats when the officer reacted"

          …or was this just the one side of the story you heard? Always two sides you know…

          His reasoning for shooting this man was not justifiable in my opinion. I'm sure the defenses lawyer will get that point across!

          That's great that you know him personally…id high five you if I could!

        • Guest

          So since you know the officers personally, that justifies shooting the suspect in the face? Nice….Bet you wouldn't feel like that if the guy that got shot was someone you knew personally. Very bias remark.

          • Guest 1

            You people are so dumb. These comments made sound like you are playing a game. This officer did his duty. Shot in the face…that sucks but the man should have listened. Why is it a bias remark? Bc this person knows this officer and knows the training they go through. This is why none of you are in law enforcement.

          • Guest

            It's bias because this person is only siding with the "face shooter's" actions and puts it out there that they know them personally. I don't know either side but I know it's uncalled for to shoot someone in the face. So of course, they are going to back the boys in blue. So if this person knew the cops and one of that person's friends or family members were shot in the face by the same cop they know, they'd be ok with it then because he was doing his job. Right?

    • Jon

      Remember, this is the story that the police are telling. they close ranks and come up with their story. A sheriffs wife should know that and also know they wouldn't even tell her the truth if it made themselves look guilty.

    • Kane

      STFU!!! I pray someone shoot your sheriffs wife loving freaking a$$ in the face for shopping! That
      jerk needs to be fired and prosecuted. p.s you're a freaking idiot! ( Sheriffs Wife)

  • Lin

    What did the guy expect? That, my friends, is the consequences of making an illegal "U" turn on a bicycle! I have to wonder though…was it really that slow of a day the the officer had to chase down a guy on a bike for making an illegal "U" turn?

  • Mick

    People People People. Stop. You were not there. this officer was 1) In the line of duty protecting us all. 2) the officer had given commnads to stop and was ignored. 3) The officer then stopped and went on foot still asking the person to stop. Still being ignored. 4) The officer gave more commands and they were ignored. 5) The office shot him. Questions – 1) Was the man standing, bending, on the ground, on his bike still????? We do not know the profile he presented to the office. 2) How many times did the officer tell this man to comply??? 3) The man then reaches for what in his waistband? 6) No one wants ANYONE to get shot. But you better make darn sure that I hope your with me on the fact we do NOT want our police officers shot. Bottomline – respect those that have been asked to protect us and obey their commands. PLEASE.

    • JRW

      You sound like an apologist for cowboy cops. Cops have no legal obligation to protect the public. DeShaney v. Winnebago City Social Services Department, 489 U.S. 189 (1989). Cops aren't there to protect the public. They are there to enforce govt policy. "Obey their commands"? "A citizen is under no obligation to obey a jurisdictionless legal-nullity court order." Ex Parte Fisk, 113 US 713, Thrap v People, 558 P2d 576. Cops will have respect when they start obeying the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. You're right, I wasn't there. Neither were you. As Alan Dershowitz correctly pointed out in "The Best Defense", cops are trained to lie about threshhold probable cause facts, because if they don't, their case evaporates if the "contact" didn't have constitutionally valid probable cause. Cops will have respect when they start obeying the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. It's physically impossible for them to be there when you need them anyway.

    • Kane

      Mick are you high? This guy was on a bike he should of never been stopped in the first place! For making an illegal U turn on a bike are you serious? WOW! What's gun down in the streets for J walking??? smfmh!!!

  • Bryan

    If the officer's gun was already drawn and aimed at the bicyclist, you can't tell me he didn't have time to pause and determine if a gun was coming out or not. This is a sad case of poor judgement. Mick, if an officer shoots, he should be darn sure his life is in danger, not a bicyclist who was maybe reaching to turn down his i-pod to see what was going on with some crazy cop running after him out of his patrol car, or were YOU there to rule this out too?

  • RJD

    Just know that a police officers goal everyday is to go home to his/her family. For those of you that think shooting another human being is easy, maybe you should think about how the officers are affected. The aftermath is sometimes to much too deal with and the psychological and emotional roller coaster that goes along with being in a shooting is something I don't wish on anyone. So before you judge an officers actions, ask yourself, can I actually take another human beings life to protect myself or to save another…it's not an easy decision but they took an oath to protect and serve and sometimes that means making tough decisions and we should support there decisions! We should not judge until we have all the facts. Remember, at times the news only shows and tells short snippets of the story.

  • puppet

    wow whats next, with the el cajon police, you all should beware of the LA MESA police can do. beware in la mesa

  • Bob

    The officer did his job. He told him to stop and he did not stop he told him to lower his hands and he did not? He made a split second decison and I think he did a great job.

  • George

    Is this a pig admiration society? There's something very wrong when police just go around shooting unarmed innocent bicyclists.

  • DontShootMe

    I guess we need gun control for the police also, I think they are the dangerous weapon carriers. Shooting up bicycle riders while enjoying a nice sunny day. But for real, really? Chasing a guy on a bicycle, the worst that would happen into his own affliction would be getting hit by a car.

  • Guest

    Really? The ECP doesn't have anything better to do then stop bicyclist.? Really? You created the problem by hiring this gunslinger. If this guy has been a menace in the past the boys on the beat should know him. Do your homework Barney Fife.

  • puppet

    that is what the police do they chase the homeless out of el cajon to La Mesa, then La Mesa chase the to Lemon Grove the Lemon Grove chase them back to El Cajon, big circler I have seen this myself. All of these city`s have no way how to treat the homeless people and do not want to deal with it, so they harrassment starts be care full out there to mant cops these days to trigger happy,just look in the past year how many people were shot by the police, myself I think La Mesa and the San Diego are the worst, shoot I bet this cop was maybe from the La Mesa or San diego police, wow so sad,

  • Bob

    You people are so one sided the officer told him to show his hands and he did not. what if he did have a gun? and this was about a Officer was shot ( would you be happy ? )

  • Shane

    @ BOB the officer had a car in between him the the subject. He had a shield. excessive force is still excessive force period.

    • Bob

      Like it or not he did not do what he was told to do and he was shot. This Officer did his job ( and a dam good job ) I'm just glad people like you and some of the other people making all the stupid remarks are not in law enforcement .

  • nickusmcnyc

    Another abuse of gorse by pd. the Feds need to come in and monitor the pd here just like la. Hope he becomes a millionaire with his suit against the city.

  • crystal

    Since when do they have to pull him over for riding on the sidewalk anyway? In the past I have seen them use the speakers to let them know to get off the sidewalk while driving by. It's a ridiculous law. You can't always bicycle safely on the street. Then to shoot him is ridiculous – not to mention shooting him in the face. This is so absurd.

  • Bob

    SHANE the officer told him to show his hands and he did not. The man was armed from what I read in this story. We don't know the story yet but from what I have herd so far the officer made the right call. You may not like it but if you don't break the law you won't have a problem. The officer made a hard call but I think it was the right call a lot of You people making all the stupid remarks don't have a clue what a officer has to deal with and all the assholes that they deal with

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