Cellphone video recorded by an eyewitness captured a police officer in Santa Ana, Calif., fatally shooting a 22-year-old homeless man at a shopping center earlier this week.
The unidentified witness reportedly saw a confrontation unfold between a police officer and victim Hans Kevin Arellano. The incident occurred in the parking lot of the Harbor Place Shopping Center at about 3 p.m. on Tuesday.
Here’s how the eyewitness described the events to CBS Los Angeles:
“She exited her patrol car, gun drawn, and asked the gentlemen to get on the ground. The gentlemen didn’t get on the ground, he was still inside the restaurant. She asked again. The man then exited the restaurant, and as he was exiting the restaurant, he said, ‘What are you gonna do, b—-?’ About a second later, she shot him in the chest.”
Watch CBS LA’s video report below, which includes some of the exclusive video of the shooting (Warning: Disturbing content):
CBS Los Angeles also provided the video to the Santa Ana Police Department. Cpl. Anthony Bertagna of the Santa Ana Police Department said he was unable to comment on the part of the video when the officer shot the suspect.
At a Wednesday press conference, Santa Ana interim Police Chief Carlos Rojas pointed out that Arellano was a convicted burglar and claimed he was “combative” when he first got into altercations with individuals in a McDonald’s parking lot.
After police arrived, Arellano ran to a nearby juice bar, where he was shot.
“It was a confrontation. It wasn’t a casual conversation,” Rojas said.
Responding to accusations of excessive force, Rojas was evasive. He did not say why the officer didn’t just use her Taser on the suspect rather than shoot him.
“Could the officer have had other options? There’s always a lot of different options you have in these situations. It really comes down to the mindset of the officer at that time and what threat they may have been facing,” he said.