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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

DA's office releases findings of five officer-involved shootings

The District Attorney's Office conducted an Officer-Involved Shooting Briefing Tuesday to discuss the DA's review of five OIS incidents, including the fatal shooting of Alfred Olango in El Cajon la...
DA's office releases findings of five officer-involved shootings

WARNING: Parts of the videos in this report contain content, which is graphic in nature. Be advised.

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8/CNS) - The District Attorney's Office conducted an Officer-Involved Shooting Briefing Tuesday to discuss the DA's review of five OIS incidents in San Diego, including the fatal shooting of Alfred Olango in El Cajon last September.

OIS incidents that were discussed included the fatal shootings of David Moya, Sergio Weick, Juan Carlos Fernandez, Trenton Lohman and the Alfred Okwera Olango shooting, which incited a series of protests in San Diego.

In the briefing, San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said her office will not seek criminal charges against an El Cajon police officer who fatally shot Alfred Olango. Olango, an immigrant from Udanda, was unarmed during a confrontation near Parkway Plaza mall last fall.

Dumanis said an officer repeatedly told 38-year-old Alfred Olango to remove his hand from his front pant pocket on Sept. 27, 2016, in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant, but Olango refused to comply.

Police had received several calls from Olango's sister saying he was acting erratically and asking officers to take him to a mental health facility.

After a second officer arrived on the scene with a Taser, Olango suddenly pulled out a metallic object that the officer believed was a gun, Dumanis said. Olango then assumed a shooting stance and made a motion, prompting the officer to duck then fire four shots, killing Olango.

Toxicological studies performed on blood collected from Olango in a hospital emergency room tested positive for cocaine and alcohol.

Portions of the afternoon incident were captured by a closed-circuit surveillance camera from a nearby business and by a witness' cell phone.

The device that Olango pulled from his pocket turned out to be an electronic cigarette vaping device, Dumanis said.

"The cop had every right. Shoot or be killed," one witness told investigators, Dumanis told reporters.

Dumanis said the use of deadly force by El Cajon police Officer Richard Gonsalves was "reasonable" under the circumstances.

After the shooting, protesters marched in the streets of El Cajon, demanding the public release of video footage of the shooting. Police eventually did release video of the confrontation.

Those supporting the Olango family's version of the event say the incident was an international opportunity to do something different, but that the decision was more of the same.

"We are outraged, we are not shocked but we're outraged," said Olango family friend Rev. Shane Harris of the National Action Network.

Dumanis says she doesn't take sides and knew the decision wasn't going to be an easy one.

"The circumstances surrounding Alfred Olango's death are tragic," said Dumanis. "They lost a brother."

"It just continues to show the non-transparency there," said Harris. "And the continued issues that are going to continue between police and community, because of lack of transparency."

Harris said Dumanis did not meet with Olango's family and is just going through the motions.

"She's just saying that she's doing this and doing that just to justify stuff," said Harris. "It's not really about both sides, it's about her side - and that is on the police side."

"So we expected this, we expected her to come out and justify the shooting," continued Harris. "She can expect us now to mobilize the community."

Harris said the ruling will be addressed during the Martin Luther King Jr. Day march and rally on Monday. The march is planned for 2:45pm in downtown San Diego, meeting at Park and B streets and marching toward San Diego City Hall for the rally to follow.

Dumanis stated that she is working with law enforcement and will continue to hold town hall meetings to gather public input on a policy to release officer-involved shooting videos and review letters as quickly as possible.