UPDATE, MARCH 12, 11:28 A.M.: The latest news about the violent death of Steven Schlitz is not surprising, as the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and Orange County District Attorney’s office are now investigating the officer-involved shooting and the mother of the victim is planning to file a claim against the City of Huntington Beach and its police department, all of which are routine.
Michael Guisti, the attorney for the deceased 29-year-old’s mother Angela Hernandez, says he plans to file the claim this week and that he expects the city to reject it, paving the way for a civil lawsuit. “She’s pretty heart-broken,” Guisti says of Hernandez in an Associated Press report. “The story that he’s threatening people, or running away, that he was any sort of danger, she said that doesn’t make any sense compared to the guy she knows and his personality.” But Jose Sanchez, the coach whose team of 13-year-olds was practicing soccer on the field next to the bleachers where Schiltz was killed, says in the same AP report, “I feel like the cops tried not to shoot him and when they did it was because they had to.” Referencing the mom sitting in the bleachers that a bloodied Schiltz is said to have run toward before he was taken down, Sanchez said, “One more second, and he would have struck her.”
ORIGINAL POST, MARCH 10, 8:57 A.M.: A 29-year-old Huntington Beach man was shot and killed by police officers Thursday night at a park where parents and children were gathered for soccer practice.
Steven Schlitz had been hitting trees with a ball bat and chasing children with a broken bottle before he ran toward a mom sitting in the bleachers at the Huntington Beach Sports Complex, 18100 Goldenwest St., where he was intercepted by two responding officers just before 7:30 p.m. according to police.
That’s where the cops opened fire on Schlitz, according to Huntington Beach Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Marlatt, who did not divulge what exactly happened immediately before the shooting.
Neither officer nor any estimated 200 bystanders were injured. That’s amazing when you consider parents and children reportedly scattered in all directions amid the chaos.
A woman who identified herself as Schiltz’s mother told television news reporters that her son was mentally unstable and had been admitted to a psych ward as recently as 2016. KCBS identified the deceased as having been homeless.
The Huntington Beach Police Department is still investigating the incident and ask anyone with information to call detectives at 714.647.7055.