‘Erratic’ man pointed object at police before killed: PD

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EL CAJON, Calif. -- An investigation was underway Wednesday into the fatal police shooting of a seemingly erratic 30-year-old black man at an El Cajon strip mall -- a shooting that prompted bitter protests from members of the public who believe the suspect's race may have played a role.

Several hours after the shooting Tuesday afternoon in the 800 block of Broadway near North Mollison Avenue, El Cajon police made public a still photo taken from cell phone video voluntarily provided by a witness. It shows a man in a shooting stance.

It's not clear if the man was armed. According to police Chief Jeff Davis, investigators did not find a firearm at the scene of the shooting. Investigators did not say what object was found -- or if it was a weapon.

Family members identified the man to reporters at the scene as Alfred Olango. He later died in a hospital.

The sequence of events that led to his death began about 2:10 p.m. when officers were sent to check out a report of a pedestrian behaving erratically and walking in traffic. They came into contact with the man behind a restaurant and he allegedly refused multiple commands to remove his hand from in his pocket, said El Cajon police Capt. Frank LaHaye.

Read More: Investigation underway after man is fatally shot by El Cajon police officer

"Because the subject did not comply, the officer drew his firearm and pointed it at the subject while continuing to give him instructions to remove his hand from his pocket," LaHaye said in a statement.

The officers attempted to talk to the man while he paced back and forth, but he then "rapidly drew an object from his front pants pocket, placed both hands together and extended them rapidly toward the officer taking up what appeared to be a shooting stance," according to the lieutenant.     One officer fired his service weapon at the man several times and a second officer deployed a Taser. Bystanders reported hearing about five shots.

The officers, each with more than 20 years of service, will be placed on administrative leave for at least three days, as per protocol, El Cajon Police Chief Jeff Davis told reporters at a news conference Tuesday night. He promised a thorough and transparent multi-agency investigation.

In the aftermath of the shooting, Rumbie Mubaiwa began filming on Facebook Live.

In the video, a distraught woman says she called 911 to get help for the man she says is her brother. She describes him as "sick." Several police are on the scene. One interviews a witness and two put up yellow police tape. Several officers can be seen congregating in the background as the sister sits on a rock wailing.

"You guys killed my brother in front of me," she cries, as Mubaiwa records the scene. "Why couldn't you guys Tase him? Why? Why? Why? Why?"

Several witnesses said the officers were unduly quick to open fire and suggested their actions were influenced by the fact they were dealing with a black man, one they described as mentally challenged. One man told reporters at the news conference that the victim had suffered a seizure just prior to the shooting, and another said he had his hands raised at the moment the shots sounded.


A crowd of about 30 protesters gathered at the shopping center and later took their demonstration to police headquarters. Many of them shouted about what they characterized as a racially motivated police shooting, and others took part in impromptu prayer circles.

Some purported witnesses also alleged that cell phones were confiscated from bystanders at the scene. LaHaye said no phones were taken other than the one that was voluntarily turned over by an employee at a nearby restaurant.

"This was the only phone provided to officers in this investigation," LaHaye said. "No other phones were taken from witnesses."

Police officials also said via Twitter that no phones were confiscated from anyone at the scene and asked the public to "be careful about reacting to inaccurate information."

However accurate, the reports prompted a response from the American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego & Imperial Counties. Its executive director, Norma Chavez-Peterson, noted that confiscating witnesses' phones violates the First and Fourth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

"The public has the right to film police in public places, and police officers may not confiscate or demand to view your digital photos or video without a warrant," Chavez-Peterson said. "Under no circumstances may police officers delete your photos or videos."

She said the agency would be "paying close attention as the details of this situation unfold."

Police asked that anyone with additional information contact them at (619) 579-3311. Individuals with information on this incident who wish to remain anonymous can call the Crime Stoppers tip line at (888) 580-8477.

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