Calif. Man Shot by Cops Had Vaping Device, Not Gun

Sister says she told cops he was unarmed
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 29, 2016 5:42 AM CDT
Updated Sep 29, 2016 6:39 AM CDT
Calif. Man Was Shot After Pointing Vaping Device at Cops
Demonstrators yell at police during a protest Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, in El Cajon, Calif. Dozens of demonstrators on Wednesday prot   (AP Photo/Julie Watson)

The black man fatally shot by police on Tuesday after adopting what police called a "shooting stance" was holding a 3-inch-long vaping device, not a gun, police have confirmed. Protesters gathered for a second day in El Cajon, Calif., on Wednesday to demand answers in the death of Alfred Olango, CNN reports. Mayor Bill Wells said he had seen video of the incident and he understands protesters' anger. "I saw a man who was distraught, a man who was acting in ways that looked like he was in great pain, and I saw him get gunned down and killed and it broke my heart," he said. "If it was my son, I would be devastated." He says the FBI has joined the investigation.

Olango was shot by officers responding to a call about somebody behaving erratically. Video of the aftermath shows Olango's sister, who says she told cops he was unarmed and "mentally sick" and needed a "crisis communications team," reports the Los Angeles Times. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Olango, head cook at a Hooters restaurant, was a 38-year-old whose family came to the US after enduring horrific conditions as refugees in Uganda. He had numerous brushes with the law and served time in prison on drugs and weapons charges, though friends say he was getting his life back on track until the death of a close friend on Friday sent him into a deep depression. (Read more San Diego stories.)

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