Santa Ana officers had been actively focusing policing efforts on a shopping complex where a 22-year-old unarmed man was fatally shot by an officer Tuesday, authorities said.
Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said Hans Arellano had gotten into at least one fight at the complex earlier in the afternoon Tuesday. In the past year, police have received more than 150 calls for assistance and complaints from business owners and others at the center, which includes shops and restaurants, he said.
Bertagna said officers also are hoping to obtain a copy of a video filmed by a bystander that appears to show Arelanno being shot as he exits a juice bar at the shopping center.
On Tuesday, an officer responding to calls about fighting confronted Arellano in a section of the center where homeless men and women gather.
“Something occurred back there, I don’t know what it is, which led to this officer requesting assistance regards to a combative subject, possibly under the influence of narcotics,” Bertagna said.
An officer who responded to the call for backup briefly chased Arellano before he ran into a juice bar at 622 S. Harbor Blvd. At that point, Bertagna said, “there’s a verbal or physical altercation. That’s the detail that’s being investigated.”
The officer shot Arellano once in the chest. He died at the scene.
A cellphone video obtained by KCAL-TV shows Arellano running into the juice bar, while the officer runs up behind him.
In the video, shouting can be heard and seconds later a shot is fired and Arellano falls to his knees before collapsing on the ground.
The person who recorded the video, asked KCAL for anonymity but told the TV station that the officer “exited her patrol car, gun drawn” and told Arellano to get on the ground.
Arellano ignored the request, began walking out of the juice bar and, addressing the officer with a crude reference to women, said: “What are you gonna do, ... ?” the witness said.
About one second later, he was shot, the man told KCAL.
In the video, a voice can be heard asking repeatedly, “Why did she shoot him?”
Bertagna said police do not yet have a copy of the video and have only seen what the television station has shown.
“We are trying to get the video ourselves,” he said. “We would like to have a copy of it.”
Bertagna said officers have been actively working the complex in response to complaints from business owners about prostitution, narcotics, panhandlers, homelessness and public urination and defecation.
“We have identified this as a problem,” he said.
The Orange County district attorney’s office, the Santa Ana police crimes against persons unit and internal affairs will investigate the shooting.