Authorities Wednesday publicly identified a 52-year-old domestic violence suspect who was fatally shot by police over the weekend while allegedly advancing on them outside an El Cerrito-area home, swinging a shovel.
Dennis Carolino of San Diego died Saturday evening at the scene of the law enforcement confrontation in the 5800 block of Adelaide Avenue, just east of the intersection of 54th Street and El Cajon Boulevard.
The events that led to the shooting began about 7:45 p.m., when a 70-year-old woman called 911 to report that her nephew had assaulted her, Lt. Matt Dobbs said.
When officers arrived at the residence, Carolino’s aunt told them her nephew had psychiatric problems and was not taking his medication.
“The woman also told officers that he had not been caring for himself and (that) when she asked him to clean up, he became angry and threw a brick … at her,” Dobbs said. “She told the officers she was struck … but was not injured. She asked the officers to check on her nephew and make sure he was taking his medication.”
Based on the woman’s description of the situation, the officers decided to call for assistance from a psychiatric emergency-response team.
The officers then went behind the home in search of Carolino. As they entered the backyard, he emerged from an outbuilding with a shovel in his hands, Dobbs said.
Ignoring the officers’ commands to drop the tool, Carolino began swinging it and rapidly advanced on them, prompting Officer Jose Mendez, a 16- year SDPD veteran, to shoot him with an electronic stun gun, to no effect, Dobbs said.
As Carolino continued to approach, Officer Brad Keyes, a four-year department member, opened fire on him with his service gun. The officers performed CPR on the gravely wounded suspect prior to the arrival of paramedics, who pronounced him dead.
As is routine in cases of officer-involved shootings, the SDPD Homicide Unit will investigate the fatal encounter and turn the findings over to the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office for review. The FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office will monitor the probe, which also will be evaluated by the SDPD Internal Affairs Unit, according to Dobbs.
“The San Diego Police Department is committed to the preservation and protection of all lives,” the lieutenant said. “As with all tragic incidents, a review of the training and tactics provided to our officers will be conducted.”
—City News Service