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El Cajon police release video of fatal officer-involved shooting

EL CAJON, Calif. -- Police in El Cajon, California, on Friday released cell phone and surveillance video that shows the controversial fatal shooting of a man who pointed a vaping device at officers.

The videos show officer Richard Gonsalves firing four shots at Alfred Olango, an unarmed man, who was pointing the cylindrical vape pen at officers earlier this week. A woman can be heard screaming in the cell phone video as the shots are fired.

Officer Josh McDaniel, like Gonsalves an officer for 21 years, deployed his Taser.

A female employee of a fast-food restaurant recorded video on her cell phone, as did a surveillance camera above a drive-through window.

No decision has been made whether to file criminal charges against one or both officers.

"Any criminal conduct being pursued will be some time much later," San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis told reporters.

Tuesday's shooting

On Tuesday afternoon, police responded to a 911 call reporting a man in his 30s was behaving "erratically" behind a restaurant.

Once they arrived, Olango kept his hands concealed in his pockets while pacing back and forth, police said.

The man "rapidly drew an object" and placed both hands on it "like you would be holding a firearm," police Chief Jeff Davis said.

One officer fired his gun at Olango, while a second officer discharged his Taser, police have said. Both are on three-day administrative leave.

The woman who called 911 claimed to be the man's sister and told the dispatcher he was mentally ill and unarmed, Davis said. Investigators have not been able to confirm whether the caller was Olango's sister, he said.

Olango's mother, Pamela Benge, said he was not mentally ill. He was mourning the loss of a friend, she said.

A psychiatric emergency response team was at another call but broke away and attempted to respond to the scene where police eventually faced off with Olango, Davis said Friday. The PERT team didn't arrive until after the shooting, the chief said.

Still image

Earlier this week, police released a video still showing the incident. Olango appears to be in stance as if ready to shoot, police said.

Officers were not wearing body cameras.

Olango's death set off demonstrations in the San Diego suburb. Protesters stopped cars and broke windows Thursday night, El Cajon police said. Protesters have called for the investigation into the shooting to be run by the US Department of Justice.

Businesses in downtown El Cajon were advised to close early Friday.

Olango came to the United States in 1991 as a refugee from Uganda.

Vape pens, or e-cigarettes, have been around for more than a decade but have boomed in popularity recently because of marketing to nicotine users looking for a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes. Also fueling the trend is the accessibility of oil concentrates. A vape pen creates an inhalable vapor with a small inner coil that slowly heats, creating a vapor that is inhaled.

'They killed my brother'

In the aftermath of the shooting and Olango's death, Rumbie Mubaiwa began filming the scene on Facebook Live.

In the video, a distraught woman says she called 911 to get help for the man she says was her brother. She describes him as "sick."

A police officer interviews a witness, and two others put up yellow police tape. Officers can be seen congregating in the background as the sister sits on a rock wailing.

"You guys killed my brother in front of me," she cries as Mubaiwa records the scene. "Why couldn't you guys Tase him? Why? Why? Why? Why?"

Police have not confirmed whether the woman in the Facebook Live footage was Olango's sister.

Christopher Rice-Wilson, director of civic engagement for Alliance San Diego, told reporters Wednesday that family members requested privacy while they grieve and would make statements at some point.

Olango twice ordered deported

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials had twice tried to deport Olango, the law enforcement agency said in a statement Thursday.

Olango came to the United States in 1991 as a refugee. In 2002 an immigration judge ordered him deported after he was convicted of transporting and selling narcotics, the statement said.

ICE officials tried multiple times to get travel documentation needed from Uganda in order to remove Olango from the country. He eventually was released from custody in 2003 under an order of supervision requiring him to report to the agency regularly. His release complied with a Supreme Court ruling that banned the detention of foreign nationals if repatriation is not likely after six months of detention, the statement said.

In 2009, Olango was returned to ICE custody after serving a prison term for a firearms conviction in Colorado. Again officials tried unsuccessfully to get necessary travel documentation from Uganda.

Olango was re-released from ICE custody on another order of supervision. ICE said he reported to the agency as required until February 2015.