Update, December 17, 3:12 p.m.: The case of a man killed in his apartment early Thursday is getting curiouser and curiouser. Santa Ana Police now say the dead man, identified as Elmer Alexander Perez, 27, was not carrying a real gun but a toy one. In fact, that was communicated in the 9-1-1 call, that Perez was messing around with a toy gun.
When officers arrived, they asked Perez's stepfather outside the door whether he was holding a fake or real gun. The man said he did not know, but what he did know was Perez was on drugs, according to a department spokesman.
The department adds that Perez had a long rap sheet littered with drug- and burglary-related crimes, and that he had been deported in 2006 after one conviction.
Original Post, December 16, 10:52 a.m.: The family of a pregnant woman are asking why Santa Ana police officers did not remove her and her 2-year-old son from their apartment before shooting and killing her husband this morning.
The incident, which was promoted by an emergency call of domestic violence possibly involving a man with a gun, occurred just before 6 a.m. in an apartment in the 3000 block of Bradford Place.
The wife and son witnessed the shooting.
“The boy is really traumatized and we're all destroyed with thinking that calling the cops was the worst mistake we did because all they did was take our loved-one away from us,” a woman who identified herself as the dead man's sister-in-law told the KTLA Morning News.
After hearing screams, officers stormed inside to see a man with a gun in his hand standing in an apartment stairwell, according to a Santa Ana department spokesman.
When the man turned toward the officers, they fired, striking the gunman several times. He later died. So far, he has only been identified as a 27-year-old.
The shooting comes six days after Santa Ana police officers shot and killed Andres Ramirez, 21, of North Carolina. In that case, police were responding to a call involving gang members loitering in an alley.
The day before that, a new policy for expanded disclosure to police agencies of Orange County District Attorney probes into in-custody deaths and officer-involved shootings was unveiled. The DA automatically investigates such incidents.
OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.