More than a dozen neighbors said they did not know the man that police shot and killed in front of their Oak Park homes on Friday. But some of them built a small memorial for the man in the exact spot where his life ended.
A San Diego Police Department officer shot and killed a suspect Friday afternoon in Oak Park, the department confirmed. The shooting occurred near Krenning Street and 54th Street at around 3:45 p.m.
Two officers were trying to make contact with a male suspect and the suspect became agitated, according to SDPD Lt. Matt Dobbs.
When the suspect and officer began fighting, the suspect began pulling at the officer's service weapon and ended up pulling the officer's gun and holster off of his belt, police said.
The officer fighting with the suspect alerted his partner to what the suspect was doing, and the second officer fired a single shot at the suspect, Dobbs said. The officers gave first aid to the suspect until medics arrived. He was pronounced dead at the scene and has not yet been identified.
Oak Park neighbors made a small memorial where the man died.
“There was already two candles down there and a vase with flowers in there, I thought that was way sweet,” said neighbor Tina Patterson.
Patterson lives directly across from where the man was killed. She said she had no connection to the man but said that wasn’t important.
“My daughter even asked, ‘Mom, you didn’t even know that man.’ I said, ‘But he is a person. He is human too.’ I say you know what I thought about my son, I thought about my nephew, the men that come into my lifetime, it could have been them," Patterson said.
Other neighbors said they were glad to see the flowers and candles there for the man, despite them not knowing him either.
However, they would like to know his identity. SDPD Lt. Dobbs described him as a Hispanic male in his 30s or 40s.
“I hope they find his parents, his family members, I just hope they come forward because he is a person too; he is a human too, and they need to know what happened,” Patterson said.
“We don’t know who the family is, and I don’t know if they know,” neighbor Claudia O’Campo said.
Neither officer, both assigned to SDPD Southeast Division, were injured. Their names or tenure with the department have not been released.
Witness Marcus Arenas told NBC 7 he saw the suspect drinking, dancing and singing on the sidewalk prior to the altercation with police.
"It's pretty sad. Life can change in minutes," Arenas said.
Witness Carlitos Figueroa saw the suspect sprint into the street where he had to dodge multiple cars. The officers eventually tackled him near the sidewalk and tried to restrain him, Figueroa said.
As the officers and suspect wrestled on the ground, Figueroa said he saw the suspect extend his arm holding some sort of object. At that point, he said an officer backed off, pulled his service weapon and fired.
Lt. Dobbs could not confirm whether or not the suspect was on the ground at the time he was shot, or specifically where on his body he was struck.