Family Says Alfred Olango Suffered ‘Breakdown’ Before Fatal Shooting
More details have surfaced about the deadly shooting of Alfred Olango, including a video recording of his death and family accounts of Olango’s mental state.
According to The Guardian, El Cajon police chief Jeff Davis released surveillance from a drive-thru and cellphone footage of Olango’s encounter with officers Richard Gonzalves and Josh McDaniel Friday afternoon (Sept. 30). The shooting happened Tuesday (Sept. 20) when Olango’s sister called 911 after she noticed he was “not acting like himself” by walking into traffic. The footage shows the officers approaching Olango as he allegedly refused to rest his hands by his side.
Davis says Olango “rapidly drew an object from his front pants pocket,” which happened to be a Smok TFV4 MINI, a vaping device. It reportedly prompted the officers to fire a taser and a gun at Olango. Before the footage was released, police posted the still of Olango in the stance to disprove reports that he was seen with his hands up at the time of the shooting. “The decision to release the video was not made in a vacuum,” Davis said. He also claims the misinformation “had the potential to create unrest in the community.”
Meanwhile, ABC News reports his family continued to refute claims that Olango was suffering from a mental illness. During a news conference on Thursday (Sept. 28), Olango’s mother Pamela Benge said her son was instead suffering from an emotional breakdown brought on by the death of a friend. “Mental breakdown is not easy to control,” she said. “He needed someone who was trained. Just calm him down, and then take care of the situation. That’s all that the call was called for. Not to come and just finish his life.” His family continued to question the police department’s approach, due to Olango’s sister repeating her brother was unarmed at the scene. The department responded, stating a member from their “psychiatric emergency response team” (PERT) was not available at the time of the 911 call.
San Diego district attorney, Bonnie Dumanis, said charges hadn’t been determined in the shooting. “Video evidence is one piece of the evidence that is out there, but we want to make sure that we have every bit of the evidence,” she said.
The NSFW video of the encounter can be viewed below.