San Diego

Family Identifies Man Shot and Killed by SDPD Officer in El Cerrito Neighborhood

Dennis Carolino, 52, was shot and killed by an SDPD officer on Aug. 24 on Adelaide Avenue

The brother of a man shot and killed by a San Diego police officer over the weekend said he wants the truth to come out about what led to the deadly confrontation. 

"My question is how they shoot my brother, they shot multiple times," Anthony Carolino said when talking about the incident that happened just before 8 p.m. Saturday on Adelaide Avenue.

Dennis Carolino, 52, was shot and killed in an officer-involved shooting that began when Carolino's aunt called for help. Police said that Dennis had thrown a brick at his 70-year-old aunt's chest and head.

Family members said Dennis was having a violent mental illness episode. 

"She is questioning herself, why she called 911,"Anthony Carolino said. "She is blaming herself. My brother died because she called the police."

Dennis Carolino was shot once and, despite lifesaving efforts by officers and San Diego Fire-Rescue Department personnel, he did not survive his injuries, Lt. Matt Dobbs explained.

Neighbors and Dennis Carolino's aunt told NBC 7 seven gun shots were heard. 

Witnesses said Dennis Carolino moved toward the officers while swinging a shovel. Officers gave the man orders to drop the weapon but he refused, they said.

Dennis Carolino continued to advance prompting one officer to use a taser while the other used his service weapon, Dobbs said.

NBC 7's Danica McAdam is at the scene where the San Diego Police Department is investigating an officer-involved shooting.

Anthony Carolino said his brother had mental issues but he was very kind. He said he hopes to get an independent investigation conducted into the death of his brother.

"I want the truth, all I want is the truth," Anthony Carolino added.

Just last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a measure into law changing the standards for when law enforcement officers can kill. 

The measure by Democratic Assemblywoman Shirley Weber of San Diego changes California's existing lethal force standards to require that deadly force may only be used when necessary.

The new standards will take effect Jan. 1, 2020. 

Previously, law enforcement officers were authorized to use deadly force when there was "reasonable fear" they were in danger, meaning if prosecutors or jurors believed officers had a reason to fear for their safety, they could use lethal force.

San Diego criminal and civil attorney of 22 years, Brian Watkins, said the new law will change the way shootings like the one that happened over the weekend will be handled. 

"Here we had the deployment of a taser which is a non-lethal weapon, what then necessitated the use of deadly force," Watkins asked. "What additional actions were done by the victim, caused the officer to say deadly force is the only way to deal in this situation?"

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