Pasadena chief names officer who fatally shot Anthony McClain; autopsy shows victim was struck twice
Pasadena Police Department footage of the fatal shooting of Anthony McClain during a traffic stop on Aug. 15, 2020.
The Pasadena police chief has identified Edwin Dumaguindin as the officer who fatally shot Anthony McClain during a traffic stop last month.
The naming of the officer comes after an autopsy released Thursday revealed that McClain, a 32-year-old Black man, was shot twice — not once as initially indicated by police.
McClain suffered one wound in the lower right quarter of his back and a graze wound to his left shoulder as he ran from the police. He died hours later at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena. Coroner’s officials found that the bullet to the back traveled through McClain, hitting his right lung before coming out of his chest and creating fatal blood loss.
Police Chief John Perez, who released police videos of the shooting following the traffic stop, said the fleeing McClain can be seen holding a gun in his waistband as he bolts from the passenger seat of the car, and that he then held it in his left hand as he ran.
Attorneys for McClain’s family say he was holding his belt buckle and that a gun recovered across the street is not tied to him. A gun is not clearly visible in the video footage released by the Police Department, but McClain is seen with his hand at his waist as he begins to run.
Caree Harper, an attorney for McClain’s family, has also contested a coroner’s account that officers rendered aid to McClain, saying they did not address his chest wound before paramedics arrived. Harper also said an officer put his knee on McClain’s back. Harper sent a letter to the coroner’s office complaining that it “cuts and pastes the police version into the public narrative and then a year down the line the detailed ‘notes’ paints a different picture.”
In releasing the officer’s identity Thursday evening, the chief in a statement reiterated that McClain was armed with a gun and made the decision to flee from the scene of the traffic stop. The department has not revealed forensic evidence tying McClain to the weapon but has said a witness saw him toss it across the street as he ran.
The department has repeatedly delayed revealing the officer’s identity, despite a public records request by The Times about the Aug. 15 shooting that spurred several protests, legal claims against the city and calls for better oversight of the department, which has a history of shooting Black men.
Under California law, police officers’ names are public information unless the department can show a specific threat against the individual.
Confronted with Dumaguindin’s name by a Times reporter, the department on Wednesday declined to confirm his identity, citing threats against another officer who had been previously associated with the shooting.
Perez acknowledged in a statement that he delayed the release because of concerns over the officer’s safety. He said that another officer wrongly associated with the shooting was the subject of social media threats, including one that declared the officer “needs to die.”
Perez, in his statement, said he made the decision to release the name “in order to prevent any further dangerous and/or false rumors.”
Harper, a well-known civil rights attorney, early in the week posted Dumaguindin’s identity on her law firm’s Facebook page using a still image taken from video from the scene.
“This incident is undoubtedly a tragedy for the McClain family and the officer involved,” Perez said.
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