EL CAJON–The fatal shooting Tuesday afternoon of a black male at a shopping mall by El Cajon police has sparked anger and outrage from residents in the city, and throughout San Diego county.
The victim, identified as 38-year-old Alfred Olango, died from his injuries at a local hospital. According to family members, Olango suffered from mental illness, and reportedly had a seizure prior to the police shootings.
According to El Cajon police, they received calls of a man who was “not acting like himself.” He was walking in traffic, not only endangering himself, but motorists. Two police officers located him behind a local restaurant in the 800 block of Broadway. The man was wearing a black tank top and blue jeans. Officers say the man refused multiple instructions by the first officer on scene to remove his concealed hand from in his pocket. Because the man did not comply the officer drew his firearm and pointed it at the man while continuing to give him instructions to remove his hand from his pocket.
The second responding officer arrived on scene and immediately prepared to deploy a less lethal electronic control device while the other officer covered.
The man paced back and forth while officers tried to talk to him. At one point, the subject 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. At this time, the officer with the electronic control device discharged his weapon. Simultaneously, the officer with the firearm discharged his weapon several times, striking the subject.
Officers provided first aid on scene until medics arrived and transported him to an area hospital.
While detectives where on scene investigating the officer involved shooting, a witness came forward and notified officers they had video footage of the incident. That witness voluntarily provided their phone to the police department and gave written consent for the officers to view the video. Investigators have been able to download the video. This was the only phone provided to officers in this investigation. No other phones were taken from witnesses, according to authorities. Investigators are reviewing the video and other video recovered from the scene.
“Now is the time for calm. Now is the time to allow the investigation to shed light on this event, and we plan to be open and transparent within the rules of the law,” said El Cajon Police Chief Jeff Davis, at a press conference Tuesday evening. “Now is the time for the community to work with us and provide us with information that is relevant to this event.”
It is the policy of the El Cajon Police Department to place all officers involved in a critical incident on Administrative Leave. The two officers will be on administrative leave at the conclusion of the investigation.
As word spread of the shooting, a crowd began to gather at the shopping center to protest the shooting of Olango. The number of people swelled to about 100, however the protests were peaceful.
According to bystanders, they reportedly heard five gunshots at the scene of the shooting. Others angrily accused the police of shooting an unarmed black man.
The sister of Olango was seen on a Facebook video grieving for her brother while a witness talked to a police officer on the scene. “She said she called. She told them that he’s sick. Nobody came to help, and now he died,” said an unidentified woman in the video.
A group protest is planned for Wednesday in El Cajon.