ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — A police shooting that left a man dead led to a violent clash as angry witnesses threw bottles at officers who responded with tear gas and beanbag rounds to suppress the crowd, authorities said.
The man was shot in front of an apartment complex around 4 p.m. Saturday following a foot chase, Anaheim Sgt. Bob Dunn said. He died three hours later at a hospital.
The Orange County Register cited family members and neighbors who said the man shot was Manuel Diaz. Dunn said he could not confirm the man's name early Sunday.
His niece, 16-year-old Daisy Gonzalez, said her uncle likely ran away from officers when they approached him because of his past experience with law enforcement.
"He (doesn't) like cops. He never liked them because all they do is harass and arrest anyone," Gonzalez told the newspaper after lighting a candle for her uncle. She cursed at officers who were nearby and a police helicopter that hovered overhead.
As officers were investigating what happened at the scene, Dunn said an angry group of people began yelling and throwing bottles at them. He said that as officers detained several people, the crowd advanced on officers so they fired tear gas and beanbag rounds at them.
Video captured by a KCAL-TV crew showed a chaotic scene in which officers fired beanbag rounds as some people ducked to the ground while others scattered screaming. A man is seen yelling at an officer even as a weapon is pointed at him; two adults huddled to shield a boy and girl. Meanwhile, a police dog ran into several people sitting on the grass, including a woman and child in a stroller, before biting a man in the arm.
Dunn said the dog somehow got out of a patrol car and was "deployed accidentally."
Throughout the night, police in multiple marked and unmarked squad cars attempted to control an unruly crowd gathered near the shooting scene, the Register reported.
Some in the crowd moved a Dumpster into an intersection and set its trash on fire on at least three separate occasions, while officers kept responding to move it out of the way of traffic.
Dunn said gang detectives are involved in the investigation.
Crystal Ventura, a 17-year-old who witnessed the shooting, told the Register the man had his back to the officer. She said the man was shot in the buttocks area. The man then went down on his knees, and she said he was struck by another bullet in the head. Another officer handcuffed the man who by then was on the ground and not moving, Ventura said.
"They searched his pockets, and there was a hole in his head, and I saw blood on his face," she told the newspaper. Dunn said he could not comment on these allegations because the shooting is under investigation.
Dunn said the man shot by police was one of three men who ran away from officers who approached them in an alley. The other two suspects have not been captured.
He would not say why police shot the man, saying that the details are under investigation by the Orange County District Attorney's office.
He said several people were arrested in the melee, but he couldn't immediately provide a figure.