A man in El Cajon, California has been shot by the police after what people are saying was a racial attack. The man was allegedly acting irrational, and when he wouldn’t follow orders, the confrontation ended with gunfire.
According to 10 News, witnesses allege that the man was acting irrational, possibly having a seizure, outside of a restaurant. An employee at Los Panchos, Maria Medina, said that the restaurant quickly shut down after the incident and employees were ordered to stay inside while the police were still on the scene.
Medina told reporters that one of her co-workers were questioned regarding the shooting and her cell phone was turned over for evidence.
An employee of a salon told reporters that they heard the gunshots and immediately ran outside to see what was going on.
“I heard three gunshots. There was a black man on the ground and two officers standing around him.”
While all the details have not been released about the circumstances that led to the shooting, investigators are assuring everyone that they will be thoroughly reviewing all evidence to determine whether the officer handled the situation appropriately.
Officers did make it clear that the cell phone handed over to them by the restaurant employee was given to them voluntarily and will be used as evidence.
As of now, the man has been taken to the hospital and his injuries are unknown at this point.
Anger is brewing on the streets in El Cajon, as well as on the social media. Witnesses believe they heard at least five gun shots fired.
One tweet reveals a man claiming to have seen the victim with his hands in the air directly before the shots were fired.
Some have said the victim was “mentally challenged” and a person “going through a mental crisis.” Many have made allegations that the man was, indeed, unarmed, but that information has not yet been officially released.
Another witness, George, told reporters that he did not hear any threats from the victim while the police were confronting him, reports NBC 7.
“I didn’t hear any command ‘Halt’, ‘Stop’ or ‘I’ll shoot. I didn’t hear any command or yelling. I didn’t hear the man say anything. Next thing I see ‘Pow, pow, pow, pow, pow’ – five shots.”
One woman, who is believed to be the victim’s sister, was noticed at the scene walking erratically in circles sobbing and crying to officers.
“I called you to help me but you killed my brother. Why couldn’t you guys tase him? Why, why, why, why?”
Michael Ray Rodriguez was a passerby and said he saw everything that happened.
“When I seen the suspect, he had his hands up. I seen two officers with their firearm on him. The man’s hands are up. No shirt. He didn’t have no shirt.”
Further, Rodriquez alleged that the officers had him blocked in three directions, but the victim decided to run to the right, which then the five shots were fired.
The victim’s sister did admit to NBC 7 that prior to the shooting, she was trying to encourage her brother to follow the cops orders when he was not showing his hands as he was being demanded to.
While the cell phone video is being reviewed, no further information is available at this time. However, a lieutenant did say that the video will be made public as soon as the investigation is complete.
While black lives matter, blue lives matter, too. Thoughts are with the victim and his family, as well as the officers involved.
We can only hope that the facts of this matter quickly unfolds. More information will be released as it becomes available.
The news conference as been made public and can be viewed here.
[Featured Image via Shutterstock]