A 55-year-old Vista man fatally shot by Orange County sheriff’s deputies and Border Patrol agents had been “acting strangely” and made a series of menacing gestures at the officers, according to the San Diego County sheriff’s department.
The incident occured Tuesday afternoon at the Las Pulgas Road off-ramp on the 5 Freeway near Camp Pendleton. The man, who stopped his car at the off-ramp, was initially contacted by an Orange County deputy.
The man began “aggressively pointing his finger at the deputy and told him that he had a weapon and he was going to kill him and then kill himself,” said San Diego Sheriff’s Lt. John Maryon.
For an hour deputies talked to the man in hopes of defusing the situation, Maryon said. But the man lifted his hand “wrapped in a black shirt concealing a portion of his hand and arm,” Maryon said.
When “less lethal projectiles” failed to subdue the man, the Orange County deputies and Border Patrol agents opened fire.
On Wednesday night, the man was identified as Daniel Robert Avila. He was not found to have a weapon, according to the sheriff’s department.
On Monday, the names of the officers involved in the shooting were released. From the Orange County Sheriff’s Department were deputies David Zill and Chris Lamberta, and Sgt. Doug Ellithorpe. From the Border Patrol were agents Anthony Fazio and Mark Aluia.
The incident will be reviewed by the San Diego County district attorney, which is standard procedure for officer-involved shootings.