DOWNEY (CBS) — Downey police Sunday say they shot and killed an unarmed man.
Michael Nida, a father of four, was with his wife pumping gas Saturday when he jaywalked across the street towards the Imperial tobacco shop.
Police said Nida, 31, matched the description of a suspect in an earlier ATM robbery.
They say Nida tried to flee and when they apprehended him down the street he refused to cooperate. He was “acting aggressively,” CBS2 and KCAL9 reporter Melissa Maynarich was told today.
Police said that an officer shot Nida at least once. The victim’s sister, Terri Teramura, however told KCAL9 that her brother was shot “five times…in the back.”
Lt. Dave Dolson of the LA County Sheriff’s Department, told Maynarich the officers involved told him Nida “was acting almost like a caged animal.”
Dolson said the first time Nida was stopped he was not patted down. The officers believed the “aggressive” action meant Nida might have been armed and they consider him a danger risk.
Police said the district attorney will ultimately decide if the shooting was justified.
The family, obviously, believes that it wasn’t.
Jean Gaxton, Nida’s mother, cried while clutching her heart: “The father of my grandchildren…my son, my baby, my baby, my baby. He was God’s gift to me. He was God’s gift. And he was taken away. And not through any actions of his — other than being afraid and running.”
The investigation continues. The family says they are considering hiring an attorney.
Nida’s family has started a memorial fund in his honor and to give him, in their words, “a proper burial.” His sister Terri Teramura says, “Anything at all will be considered a blessing.”
They say donations can be made to:
Michael Nida Memorial Fund
P.O. Box 3272
Huntington Beach, CA 92605