New details are emerging as investigators continue to piece together what led to yet another fatal shooting of an unarmed Black man at the hands of police in the San Diego, California suburb of El Cajon.
El Cajon law enforcement involved in the incident initially claimed they were unsure of the object that Alfred Olango pointed at them, but did confirm that it was not a weapon. According to USA Today, police revealed Wednesday that the object in question was actually an electronic cigarette, also known as a vapor pen.
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The officer who opened fire on Olango claimed he did so after the unarmed took a “shooting stance” and pointed something at him while gripping it with both hands.
Many have questioned why the officers didn’t attempt other methods to handle Olango before shooting him. A woman who has identified herself as Olango’s sister placed the 9-1-1 call to police, informing the dispatcher of his history with mental illness.
Police have since responded to the shooting, noting that while it’s common for members of the “Police Agency Psychiatric Response Team” to assist dispatchers on calls, none were available at the time the call was placed about Olango’s behavior.
Police have also confirmed that Olango was 38 years old at the time of the fatal shooting, not 30, as they had previously reported.