Outrage in Anaheim after 3rd officer-involved shooting in a week - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Outrage in Anaheim after third officer-involved shooting in a week

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ANAHEIM (CNS) - A burglary investigation in Anaheim today resulted in an officer-involved shooting when a suspect drove his car at an officer, but the suspect escaped and it was not clear if he was struck, authorities said.

Another suspect in the burglary of a model home was arrested, Anaheim police Sgt. Bob Dunn said. Abel Frank Armenta, 36, of Placentia, was booked on suspicion of burglary and resisting arrest, Dunn said.

It was the third officer-involved shooting in Anaheim in less than a week. Two fatal shootings -- one on Saturday and the other Sunday -- sparked four nights of protests in the city. During demonstrations Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, police fired non-lethal rounds at demonstrators who refused orders to disperse. Some protesters set fires, smashed windows and hurled rocks and other projectiles at officers.

Twenty-four people were arrested and at least seven people, including a police officer, were injured.

Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait met with officials from the U.S. Attorney's Office and the FBI. Both federal agencies agreed to do an independent review of the two shootings and city officials will also provide information on all of its officer-involved shootings this year.

The city also intends to ask the Office of Independent Review to review and evaluate the city's policies regarding the use of force by police. That's the same firm Fullerton officials hired to do an internal investigation following the in-custody death of schizophrenic transient Kelly Thomas last year.

"I wish to thank the United State's Attorney's Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation," Tait said. "I ask that our community be patient to allow their process to run its course as we seek to learn what happened on that day as well as previous incidents this year."

The latest shooting happened shortly after 3:15 a.m. today after police were dispatched to a condominium complex at Melrose and Water streets on a burglary call, Dunn said.

The officers saw in the roadway a washer and dryer that had been taken from a model home at the master-planned condo community, he said. There was also evidence the two had removed a flat-screen TV and attempted to steal a refrigerator, Dunn added.

As they were investigating, the officers saw a man leave the building, and when they tried to stop him he ran. During the ensuing foot chase, officers saw a black pickup truck parked nearby with a male inside and as they approached it, the driver started the engine and accelerated toward one of them, causing at least one of the officers to open fire, Dunn said.

It's unclear whether the driver was a male or female, Dunn said. Police have contacted local medical facilities, but have gotten no reports of someone with a bullet wound seeking care, Dunn said.

Police set up a perimeter and a police dog eventually found Armenta, the suspect who ran away. He was treated for a dog bite at a hospital prior to being booked for burglary and resisting arrest, Dunn said. Armenta was already on parole for burglary, Dunn added.

Last weekend, officers shot and killed suspected gang members Manuel Diaz, 25, and Joel Mathew Acevedo, 21. An attorney for Diaz's family, who has sued the city of Anaheim, denies that Diaz was a gang member.

During unrest on Saturday and Sunday in Anaheim, protesters set fire to a Dumpster that was rolled into a street, and threw objects at officers. Police fired non-lethal projectiles to disperse the crowd. A police dog got loose during the melee -- police said it was an accident -- and bit at least two people.

Diaz, whom police described as a documented gang member from Santa Ana, was approached by officers around 4 p.m. Saturday in the 600 block of North Anna Drive. Police said Diaz and his two companions ran off, but an officer caught up to Diaz, and the officer wound up shooting him. Diaz died at a hospital about 7 p.m.

Two officers, including the one who shot Diaz, have been placed on paid leave while an investigation was pending.

Diana Lopez, an attorney for the Diaz family, announced Tuesday a $50 million claim against the city, alleging civil rights violations by Anaheim police.

Late Sunday, Anaheim police fatally shot 21-year-old Joel Mathew Acevedo at the end of a stolen-car pursuit. Acevedo, also an alleged gang member, became the fifth person to die in an officer-involved shooting in Anaheim this year. He allegedly fired at officers before being shot.

A sixth person was shot by Anaheim police this year, but survived.


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