Man shot by police was distraught over best friend’s death

In this Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016 frame from video provided by the El Cajon Police Department, a man, second from left, faces police officers in El Cajon, Calif. The man reportedly acting erratically at a strip mall in suburban San Diego was shot and killed by police after pulling an object from his pocket, pointing it at officers and assuming a "shooting stance," authorities said. Some protesters claimed the man was shot with his hands raised, but police disputed that and produced the frame from cellphone video taken by a witness that appeared to show the man in the "shooting stance" as two officers approached with weapons drawn. (El Cajon Police Department via AP)

EL CAJON, Calif. (AP) — The unarmed man shot by police in a San Diego suburb had a history of run-ins with authorities and was distraught over the recent death of his best friend.

Alfred Olango was having an emotional breakdown over his friend’s death when police confronted him, said attorney Dan Gilleon, who represents the Ugandan refugee’s family.

Olango was shot several times after refusing to obey police commands and drawing an object from his pants pocket and pointing it at an officer in a “shooting position,” police said. Officers later said the item was an electronic cigarette, or vaping, device.

Olango’s sister had called 911 to say her brother was not acting like himself and was walking in traffic.

“His best friend died and he was having an emotional reaction to that,” Gilleon said.

The family described Olango as a loving father who had moved back to California from Arizona and had landed a part-time job at a furniture store, Gilleon said.

The encounter was not the first time Olango was confronted by police officers and his record includes an incident in which he was illegally armed.

Olango was arrested in Colorado in 2005 after officers who pulled him over discovered 9mm semi-automatic pistol on the floor his car. He pleaded guilty in federal court and was sentenced to nearly four years for being a felon in possession of a gun.

At the time, he had previous convictions in San Diego for receiving stolen property and selling cocaine, court records show.

After being released from federal prison, he was brought into court for violating the terms of his release — the federal equivalent of probation — because of a drunken driving conviction.

 

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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