Updated at 5:19 p.m. Jan. 10, 2017
The fatal shooting of an unarmed Ugandan immigrant during a confrontation with police in El Cajon was legally justified and the officer who shot him will not face criminal charges, San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said Tuesday.
Dumanis said an officer repeatedly told 38-year-old Alfred Olango to remove his hand from his front pant pocket on Sept. 27, 2016, in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant, but Olango refused to comply.
Police had received several calls from Olango’s sister saying he was acting erratically and asking officers to take him to a mental health facility.
After a second officer arrived on the scene with a Taser, Olango suddenly pulled out a metallic object that the officer believed was a gun, Dumanis said. Olango then assumed a shooting stance and made a motion, prompting the officer to duck then fire four shots, killing Olango. Toxicological studies performed on blood collected from Olango in a hospital emergency room tested positive for cocaine and alcohol.
Portions of the afternoon incident were captured by a closed-circuit surveillance camera from a nearby business and by a witness’ cell phone.
The device that Olango pulled from his pocket turned out to be an electronic cigarette vaping device, Dumanis said.
“The cop had every right. Shoot or be killed,” one witness told investigators, Dumanis told reporters.
Dumanis said the use of deadly force by El Cajon police Officer Richard Gonsalves was “reasonable” under the circumstances.
After the shooting, protesters marched in the streets of El Cajon, demanding the public release of video footage of the shooting. Police eventually did release video of the confrontation.
Dumanis also briefed reporters on her reviews of four other fatal officer-involved shootings last year, three by sheriff’s deputies and one by a San Diego police officer. All were deemed legally justified.
— City News Service
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