Police: Man Fatally Shot in El Cajon Pointed Vape Smoking Device at Officer

Police in suburban San Diego say a man they fatally shot Tuesday had ignored repeated commands to raise his hands and pointed a vape smoking device at officers. The shooting of the man, identified as 38-year-old Alfred Okwera Olango, sparked protests in El Cajon, with many demonstrators outraged at what they described as yet another police shooting of an unarmed black man. Late Wednesday, the El Cajon Police Department said officers had reason to believe Olango was about to shoot at them because he “rapidly drew an object from his front pants pocket, placed both hands together and extended them rapidly toward the officer, taking up what appeared to be a shooting stance.” That object turned out to be a vape smoking device. One officer responded by using his Taser and another fired shots that ultimately killed Olango. Witnesses at the scene described Olango as mentally ill and said he was suffering from a seizure when he was shot, a fact which El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells said leaves many questions to be answered. (The FBI is also investigating the incident.) Police knew Olango was mentally ill when they responded to Tuesday’s 911 call about him, they said, but members of the Psychiatric Emergency Response Team, who would normally assist officers, were not available at the time.