PASADENA (CBS) — Police met with residents Saturday morning to discuss the investigation into a controversial officer-involved shooting that left an unarmed teen dead and led to the arrest of the 911 caller.
Oscar Carrillo, 26, called police last Saturday and told emergency dispatchers that he was robbed at gunpoint by two men.
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Police said it was that initial report that led two officers to fatally shoot Kendrec Lavelle McDade, 19, when they saw him running shortly after 11 p.m. on Sunset Avenue near Orange Grove Boulevard. Officers said they saw him reach for his waistband.
“The officer had no time to exit the vehicle. Fearing for his life, given the basic information of the call, the first [set] of rounds were fired,” Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez said at the community meeting to discuss the investigation at the New Revelation Missionary Baptist Church at 55 North Orange Grove Boulevard.
Carrillo later admitted that he lied – the suspects were, in fact, not carrying guns and they took a backpack from his car. He reportedly said the suspects were armed so officers would respond more quickly.
“This was not the outcome we had anticipated,” Lt. Phlunte Riddle said. Several investigations, including the review of the officer-involved shooting aspect of the case, were continuing Saturday. The officers have been placed on paid administrative leave.
Dr. Earl Ofari Hutchinson and other community activists had pushed for the meeting to evaluate the use-of-force procedures within the Pasadena Police Department.
“As sad as it is, as tragic as it is, we cannot bring Kendrec McDade back. But, what we can do is make sure that we’re not standing out here, six months down the line, a year down the line, having this meeting about another Kendrec McDade,” Hutchinson said.
Riddle confirmed that patrol car cameras were not rolling when officers confronted McDade and a 17-year-old boy who was with him.
“I would like the Pasadena police to quit trying to cover up what happened for political reasons,” said Kevin McDade, the victim’s uncle, at the meeting.
McDade’s family wanted to know why, if these officers feared for their life, they wouldn’t turn on the cameras.
“The only way the camera is activated is if the unit is code 3 with lights and sirens,” said Riddle, adding that officers were not permitted to call code 3 because when Carillo made the initial call he said that the suspects were already running away from him.
McDade and the other suspect did, in fact, burglarize Carrillo’s vehicle and also stole from other commercial properties that night, Riddle said. The 17-year-old has been charged with grand theft, commercial burglary and failure to register as a gang member as a condition of probation.
On Wednesday, police asked the District Attorney’s Office to charge Carrillo with involuntary manslaughter, Riddle said. Prosecutors have not yet filed charges in the case, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
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