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Caught On Video: Cop Fatally Shoots Unarmed Homeless Man
The fatal police shooting of an unarmed homeless man earlier this week was caught on cellphone video by a bystander.
Hans Kevin Arrellano, 22, was shot by Santa Ana police officers on Tuesday afternoon in front of a smoothie shop called Jugos La Tropicana. A witness video of the incident shows a female officer shooting Arellano, and a bystander can be heard off-camera asking police why they fired on Arrellano. The witness, who did not want to be identified, submitted the video to CBS2.
Police say that Arellano was "combative" that day, and he had been getting into fights with people at a nearby McDonald's. Arellano then ran to the juice bar, where the shooting occurred. They added that Arrellano had previously been convicted of burglary, and he was also a suspect in a robbery, according to ABC.
The witness described the shooting to CBS: "[The female police officer] 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, bitch?' About a second later, she shot him in the chest."
Arellano was shot by a female police officer who was a 13-year veteran of the department, ABC reports. She is currently on paid leave until she is cleared to return to work by a psychologist, CBS reports.
After viewing the video, Cpl. Anthony Bertagna of the Santa Ana Police Department told CBS, "This is something that is going to be a key piece of evidence. It's something that we encourage people, if they have, to bring forward. This needs to get in the hands of the D.A. and our detectives. ... we're trying to be open and honest. There's three separate investigations that are going on simultaneously."
Arellano's family have also seen the video, which is shot at a considerable distance, and believe the officer shouldn't have used lethal force. Arellano's niece, Yenniffer Moreno said, "I believe they should have Tased him, hit him with a baton, anything, but not shot him to kill him."
Police confirmed that the officer had non-lethal weapons on her and that Arellano was not armed. Friends told ABC one of Arellano's few possessions was an iPod that they believe the officer might have mistaken for a weapon. Family members and friends gathered for a vigil Thursday night in front of the site where Arellano was killed.
You can watch the witness' cell phone video on this CBS news report: