Transient Fatally Shot By Escondido Police Is ID'd

Escondido Police Department investigators search for evidence after an officer shot and killed a man who police said was hitting cars with a metal pry bar on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 in Escondido, Calif. A man fatally shot by an officer in the San Diego suburb of Escondido was carrying a 2-foot metal pole and had charged at police, the police chief said. Police Chief Ed Varso said in a video statement posted on YouTube late Wednesday that the officer had backed away and given warnings before opening fire. (Sam Hodgson/The San Diego Union-Tribune via AP, File)

Authorities on Monday publicly identified a homeless man shot and killed by an Escondido police officer last week after police say the man advanced on the officer in a menacing manner with a 2-foot-long crowbar in his hand.

Steven John Olson, 59, allegedly had been hitting cars with the prying tool near the intersection of Broadway and Second Avenue when Officer Chad Moore approached him shortly after 7 a.m. Wednesday, according to the Escondido Police Department.

Police shot and killed a man in Escondido while responding to a call about someone hitting cars with "a metal pole."

In a YouTube video posted by the department Wednesday night, EPD Chief Ed Varso said the object was a 2-foot metal pry tool similar to those used in the auto repair industry.

When an officer first made contact with Olson behind a business in the area, Olson was not displaying any threatening behavior and he did not pose a threat to the officer or the public, Chief Varso said in the video.

Varso said the officer tried to convince Olson to drop the metal object, but he didn't comply and ran away.

The officer stayed at the scene and spoke to witnesses about the incident that prompted the police call. A few minutes later, a second EPD officer (Moore) saw Olson walking in the street at 2nd Avenue and Broadway, according to Varso.

NBC 7's Dave Summers spoke to an alleged witness about the incident.

"This time, as the officer exited his vehicle, the male immediately advanced on the officer while holding the same metal tool in a threatening manner," Varso said.

"The officer gave multiple commands to drop the tool, as well as several use of force warnings. The male continued to advance on the officer who was backing away, and he was ultimately shot."

In the video, Varso did not mention how many shots were fired.

More officers and Escondido Fire Department firefighters arrived and gave first aid to Olson. He was taken to an area hospital where he died from his injuries, Varso said.

"[Olson] was "well known'' to Escondido police, having had a long history of property crimes and violent offenses, including assaults on officers, according to Varso.

Moore has been an officer with the Escondido Police Department since 2013, according to the department.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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