An African-American man shot in an encounter with El Cajon Police was treated in a parking lot while a woman identified as his sister wailed nearby, demanding to know why police shot the man she had called them to help.
Dozens of officers swarmed the Broadway Village Shopping Center Tuesday at approximately 1 p.m. The shooting happened on the 700 block of Broadway at South Mollison Avenue, El Cajon Police said. The location is just north of Interstate 8 and west of State Route 67.
Almost three hours later, police officers told NBC 7 San Diego the man was acting erratically and failed to comply, while witnesses questioned the police motives in the shooting. Crowds gathering by the scene of the shooting began chanting, demanding answers from police.
Officers quickly secured the parking lot near the shooting. One witness at a local restaurant told NBC 7 police came and confiscated their cell phones following the incident; another witness recalled hearing an officer fire three or four rounds.
“I didn’t hear any command ‘Halt’, ‘Stop’ or ‘I’ll shoot,’” said George, a witness. “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.”
Yes, the shooting was captured on video.
The entire shooting was captured on video shot on a cellular phone by the drive through worker at the Los Panchos restaurant. NBC 7’s Dave Summers said an El Cajon lieutenant told him she voluntarily turned over the phone. They are looking at the video now and the video at some point in this investigation will be released.
The manager of Los Panchos told Dave that on the video, you see the suspect refusing to remove his hands from his side and disobeyed police.
Maria, an employee at Los Panchos in El Cajon, said police came into the restaurant and took all cell phones from employees after the shooting; they told employees not to talk to anyone, according to Maria. NBC 7 has not confirmed how many phones were confiscated.
One of her coworkers, who had captured video of the shooting, was among the people who had her cell phone confiscated, Maria said.
[El Cajon police Lt. Rob Ransweiler directly dismissed Maria’s account, stating that the employee who filmed the shooting came to them and volunteered the video, signing a consent form. No phones were confiscated.]
You might infer from the Los Panchos employees that by refusing to remove his hands from his waistband area (as show by NBC 7’s Dave Summers, below) that the injured man may have played a considerable role in convincing officers to fire.
Several alleged eyewitnesses, however, are telling a very different story.
These witnesses are insisting that the man’s hands were not at his waist, but held out to his side, like so.
A woman livestreamed the aftermath of the shooting (language warning).
As the video above shows, the wounded man hadn’t even been transported by EMS before a crowd began forming and asserting that this was a racially motivated shooting of an unarmed man by “racist” police officers (at this time, the race of the officer or officer who fired has not been made public knowledge).
The extent and number of injuries sustained by the man during the incident has not been confirmed at this time.
Is this a justified shooting?
I have no idea, but I’m sure we’ll here more in the days ahead as local activists are already attempting to transform this into a “hands up, don’t shoot” moment.