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El Cajon police: Fatally shot man pointed vaping device at officers

By Amy R. Connolly
El Cajon police: Fatally shot man pointed vaping device at officers
Police shot and killed Alfred Olango, who family described as a mentally ill Ugandan immigrant. Investigators said he pulled something from his pocket, which was later determined to be a vaping device, and took a "shooting stance." Photo courtesy El Cajon Police Department

EL CAJON , Calif., Sept. 29 (UPI) -- El Cajon, Calif., police said a man they fatally shot earlier in the week pulled a vaping device out of his pocket and pointed it at them before an officer opened fire.

The revelation about what 38-year-old Alfred Olango held in his hands Tuesday afternoon when he was shot came Wednesday ahead of a second night of protests by those who decried the shooting death of the mentally ill Ugandan immigrant.

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Protesters shouted "murder" and demanded bystander cellphone video be released to the public to shed light on the incident. Investigators said Olango pulled the electronic cigarette from his pocket and took a "shooting stance" before being fatally shot by an El Cajon police officer. Another officer used a Taser on Olango.

The protest took a violent turn when demonstrators chased a man wearing a red hat with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's "Make American great again" campaign slogan. Some protesters threw water bottles at police. No one was injured.

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Mayor Bill Wells said the protests were "angry and loud," but largely peaceful.

"It's their First Amendment right," he said. "I understand that they don't feel heard. I understand that they're wanting more information."

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The events leading up to the shooting unfolded Tuesday afternoon after police received a 911 call of a man acting "erratically" and walking into traffic. The caller said she was Olango's sister, he was mentally ill and unarmed. Investigators have not confirmed whether the caller was his sister.

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Police, responding about 50 minutes after the first 911 call, said they found Olango pacing with his hands in his pockets and not responding to police commands. Police Chief Jeff Davis said Olango "rapidly drew an object," with both hands "like you would be holding a firearm." The object was later determined to be a vaping device.

Davis said he will not bring in an outside agency to investigate the shooting, saying, "I trust my investigators. I trust the system. I trust the protocol, the district attorney's office and the FBI."

El Cajon is located about 30 miles east of downtown San Diego.

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