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Replica handgun found at scene of police shooting in San Bernardino, police say

A replica handgun was recovered from the scene where San Bernardino Police officers shot and killed a man outside a gas station last Saturday, police said this week.

Authorities identified the man as Anthony Angel Armenta, 21, of San Bernardino.

Anthony Angel Armenta, 21, of San Bernardino.
(San Bernardino Police Department)

Armenta was seen using a flashlight to dig through the trash shortly before the fatal police encounter, and some witnesses said they believed officers mistook the flashlight for a gun.

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But in a news release Thursday night, San Bernardino police described the object as a replica handgun and said Armenta had pointed it at an officer before police opened fire.

Officers had responded to the gas station in the 2700 block of North Del Rosa Avenue shortly before 8:30 p.m. for a report of a man with a gun, the police department said in the release.

They said that Armenta was armed with what appeared to be a black handgun and ignored multiple commands to drop it. He allegedly raised the object and pointed it at an officer, prompting that officer and a second to open fire, according to investigators.

Armenta was taken to a hospital, where he died.

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Police did not initially say whether a gun was recovered at the scene but released several photographs that showed a man holding an object that resembled a handgun.

Bystander video of the incident was also posted to YouTube. Officers can be heard shouting at Armenta to “drop the gun” as he stands with his arms at his sides. The video captures the sound of gunfire, but Armenta was out of the camera frame when the shooting took place.

San Bernardino police asked that anyone with information about the shooting call Det. Silva at (909) 384-5762 or Sgt. Al Tello at (909) 384-5613.


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