Prosecutors tentatively rejected a request by Pasadena police Monday to file an involuntary manslaughter charge against a man who made a false report of being robbed by armed men.
The volatile case has been compared to the fatal shooting of Florida teen Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watchman. Both cases involved shootings of unarmed black teenagers by those who said they believed they had guns.
Pasadena police were seeking a charge of involuntary manslaughter against Oscar Carrillo, the 911 caller who said his laptop and backpack had just been stolen by two men with guns.
Authorities said the call led two police officers, one on foot and one in a car, to shoot Kendrec McDade, a 19-year-old college student. They said he reached for his waistband, seeming to confirm the caller's report of a man with a gun.
A juvenile with McDade was charged with two counts of commercial burglary, one count of grand theft and one count of failure to register as a gang member as a condition of his probation.
Police said the teens matched descriptions provided by Carrillo, witnesses and surveillance footage.
The charge of involuntary manslaughter would be possibly unprecedented for making a false 911 call. Carrillo apparently was a robbery victim but he embellished the report by mentioning guns in order to get police to respond quickly.
Los Angeles district attorney's spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said Monday the case needed further work.
"We have not filed a case pending further investigation and we are doing legal research," she said.
Pasadena police spokeswoman Lt. Phlunte Riddle said the case had not been sent back to her department but she understood that district attorney investigators might ask for further information.
"It's still in their ballpark," she said.
Meanwhile, Virginia Kice, spokeswoman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), said the agency had lodged an immigration detainer against Carrillo. She said a check of ICE's databases revealed that Carrillo was previously removed from the United States to Mexico in April 2006.
She said ICE has a priority on removing "individuals who exploit our immigration system, such as immigration fugitives and others who have been previously deported and illegally re-entered the United States."
A watchdog agency, the Los Angeles County Office of Independent Review also has agreed to review the case.