The Latest: California police thought man they shot had gun

AP News
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Posted: Dec 14, 2016 12:41 AM

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on the shooting of an unarmed 73-year-old man shot by police in California (all times local):

6:15 p.m.

The incoming police chief of Bakersfield, California, says an unarmed 73-year-old man was refusing to take his hand out of his pocket when he was fatally shot by an officer who had good reason to believe he had a gun.

Lyle Martin said at a news conference Tuesday night that an officer in his second year, Reagan Selman, fired seven shots at Francisco Serna. Martin says six other officers had also arrived but only Selman fired. Martin is an assistant chief whose duties as chief had been scheduled to start Wednesday.

Martin says a woman in Serna's neighborhood had encountered Serna in her driveway, and she believed he had a gun in his jacket pocket. When her boyfriend called 911, he just said Serna had a revolver and was brandishing it at women.

Martin says officers were interviewing the woman when Serna walked out of his house and began walking toward them. Serna refused commands to take his hand out of his pocket and to stop walking toward officers, and after about 30 seconds he was shot and killed.

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2:30 p.m.

Police say a man whose family says he had dementia was unarmed when an officer fatally shot him.

Bakersfield police Sgt. Gary Carruesco said Tuesday that 73-year-old Francisco Serna didn't have a gun when an officer killed him just after midnight Monday.

Carruesco hasn't explained why Serna was shot but says police were responding to a report of a man brandishing a gun.

He says when officers arrived, a witness pointed them toward Serna, who was in a nearby driveway. He says one officer fired multiple rounds at Serna, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

The officer was placed on administrative leave.

Carruesco didn't immediately respond to a claim by Serna's family that Serna was shot nine times.

The family is planning a candlelight vigil Tuesday evening.