EL CAJON, CALIFORNIA – Protests continued for two consecutive nights after an El Cajon police officer fatally shot a black man Tuesday, who was reportedly behaving erratically and assumed a ’shooting stance’ while pointing an object at the officer. The object was discovered to be a vaping device.

El Cajon police Chief Jeff Davis urged residents to remain calm. “This will be transparent. This will be looked at by multiple sets of eyes, and not just ours,” he said of the investigation.

Alfred Okwera Olango, 38, “rapidly drew an object from his front pants pocket, placed both hands together on it and extended it rapidly towards the officer taking what appeared to be a shooting stance, putting the object in the officer’s face,” according to Davis.

“At this time one of the officers discharged his Taser in an effort to subdue the subject. Simultaneously the officer who had the object pointed at him discharged his firearm, striking the male.” Davis said.

Olango received first aid on the scene and was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead, authorities said.

Police have not released a photo of the vaping device, also known as e-cigarette, but the picture below depicts common samples:

reuse permission from internet source

A woman working in the drive-thru window at a restaurant nearby captured the confrontation on video and she voluntarily turned her phone over to investigators and signed a consent form, El Cajon Lt. Rob Ransweiler said. According to authorities, this was the only phone provided to officials, denying reports they confiscated additional phones from civilians at the scene.

News about the incident quickly spread on social media Tuesday night. Rumbie Mubaiwa took a Facebook Live video that appeared to capture the aftermath. In it, a woman who said she is the man’s sister cries, repeatedly saying that her brother is sick and she called the police asking for help, but instead he was shot.



The woman, Lucy Peterson, said she’s Olango’s sister. She appeared extremely upset and confused, repeatedly shrieking and crying, telling officers that she had called them to help her brother, whom she described as mentally ill.

The death of Olango brought about demonstrations in the San Diego suburb, as activists demanded that authorities release video of the shooting. They also want a federal probe into Olango’s death.

Police have a still photograph showing Olango, in what authorities described as a “shooting stance,” facing off with the two officers in a parking lot.

Mayor Bill Wells revealed in a news conference the identity of one of the officers as Richard Gonsalves, a 21-year veteran of the force. He did not identify the second officer, except to say he was also a 21-year veteran of the force. Both have been placed on administration leave. Wells said he understood the frustration of demonstrators, who blocked a freeway exit for a period of time Wednesday.

El Cajon Police homicide detectives will investigate the shooting, and the district attorney’s office will review it, Davis said. Asked if he should consult an outside agency to investigate the incident, the police chief said, “I trust my investigators. I trust the system. I trust the protocol, the district attorney’s office, and the FBI.”

But Rev. Shane Harris, president of the San Diego chapter of the National Action Network opposed it and said, “We do not trust local prosecutors to investigate local police,” explaining the family’s desire for a federal investigation.

“We don’t want to see a still picture of him pointing something that is not a gun,” added Bishop Cornelius Bowser of the Charity Apostolic Church. “The best way to move forward right now is through transparency.”

Davis said he was following countywide protocol pertaining to officer-involved shootings. But he released the photo to counter disinformation.

The protest was angry, but peaceful. Several dozen people, most of them black, gathered, and some cursed at officers guarding the scene, the Associated Press reported. They chanted, “Black lives matter!” and “Hands up, don’t shoot!”

El Cajon City council members approved the purchase of 88 body cameras this past May, but they are not yet in service. Davis said he hoped to have the cameras in use by the start of 2017.