LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Latest on the shooting of an unarmed 73-year-old man shot by police in California (all times local):
Police say an unarmed 73-year-old man fatally shot by police in Southern California was carrying a crucifix, but it’s unclear if that’s what a witness thought was a gun.
A police officer in Bakersfield, California, fatally shot Francisco Serna near his house early Monday after responding to a 911 call about someone brandishing a gun.
But police concluded Serna was not armed as his family members told news reporters that he often carried around a crucifix that the 911 caller may have confused for a gun.
Bakersfield police Sgt. Gary Carruesco said Wednesday that a coroner found a crucifix on Serna well after the shooting. He described it as plastic with the appearance of wood.
Serna’s family says he had dementia and would go on short walks in his neighborhood to help tire him out so he could sleep.
An unarmed 73-year-old man refused to take his hand out of his pocket and stop walking toward officers who believed he had a gun when they fatally shot him, the incoming police chief of Bakersfield, California, said.
Two different people who encountered Francisco Serna in the hours leading up to the shooting had believed he had a gun, and police were answering a 911 call of a man with a revolver, incoming Chief Lyle Martin said at a news conference Tuesday.
Officer Reagan Selman, who had been on the force about 16 months, fired seven shots at Serna as he walked toward them in a neighbor’s driveway early Monday, said Martin.
Serna was declared dead at the scene, and no gun was found on him.
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