UPDATE, MARCH 15, 9:40 A.M.: Michael Anthony Perez, 33, has been identified as the man shot dead by police in Orange late Sunday.
Police say the reason officers pulled over Perez’s GMC van was a broken taillight, and once the vehicle came to a stop in the 100 block of West Katella Avenue it was determined there was a criminal warrant associated with the license plate number. Court records indicate there was a warrant out for Perez since December on a misdemeanor charge of driving without a license. He also has convictions on his record from 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2006, with several charges involving possession of controlled substances. Mike Medina, Perez’s stepfather-in-law, told the Orange County Register, that the deceased had been growing increasingly volatile since his wife obtained a restraining order in February forbidding him from seeing his four children.
ORIGINAL POST, MARCH 13, 10:21 A.M.: A 35-year-old Orange man was shot dead by police Sunday night after a confrontation that was captured in dramatic video footage.
The incident began around 11 p.m. when officers pulled over a white GMC minivan in the 100 block of West Katella Avenue due to an alleged traffic violation. The action took place in the parking lot of a mini mall at Katella and Glassell Street; ironically, I was at that same spot about 10 hours before.
According to the Orange Police Department, the unidentified driver refused to get out of the vehicle and barricaded himself inside. The video captured by OnScene.TV shows what happened next, around 11:15 p.m.: An officer is trying to break a rear driver side window with his nightstick as horns honk and an agitated, shirtless man behind the wheel starts to crawl out of his window because he is being blasted by a strong stream of water from a fire hose held in front of the front passenger side window, which cops had used their sticks to smash open.
The force of the water knocks the man down to the ground, and he falls to the front driver side of the vehicle as officers are heard shouting, "Back up! Back up!" Around this time a loud bang is heard, but it is unclear if that is a gunshot. A cop reaches down to grab the man by an arm, lift him up and swing him around toward the other officers before you hear, "He's got a knife! Knife!"
Next you see several officers pointing their service handguns toward the man on the ground. It's unclear if the actual shooting is seen; perhaps that was edited out. Next the man is surrounded by a gang of cops. The lifeless body is flipped over and handcuffs are applied. Cut to an officer pumping the man's chest as he rests on a gurney being pushed into an ambulance.
At least two shots were fired, but it is unclear how many times the man was hit, according to police. The driver later died at UCI Medical Center in Orange.
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A police spokesman appears on camera in the KTTV version of the story saying that the driver had a gasoline can and a rag inside the vehicle and that he was making threats that had officers fearing he would burn himself and/or turn the vehicle into a combustible device. The spokesman mentions the man had a lit cigarette, something the news station confirms by showing video of the fellow with a goatee talking to police as he was smoking.
I had to endure two commercials on the San Jose Mercury News site before getting to the OnScene.TV/KTTV here:
The Orange County District Attorney’s office is investigating the officer-involved shooting, as is routine.