PASADENA, Calif. - Oscar Carrillo’s 911 call was clear: Two young men just robbed him of his computer and backpack. At least one of them had a gun, and it was pointed in Carrillo’s face.
Moments later, police caught up with two teens they believed were the thieves in a Pasadena alleyway. When one of them, Kendrec McDade, 19, made a move at his waistband, an officer opened fire, killing the college student, authorities said.
No weapons or the stolen items have been found.
Now, police are laying part of the blame for the fatal shooting on Carrillo, who they say admitted that he lied about the men being armed so officers would respond faster. “The actions of the 911 caller set the minds of the officers,’’ police Chief Phillip Sanchez said.
As the nation focuses on the fatal shooting of Florida teen Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watch member, the police shooting in Pasadena raises more questions about the role and responsibility of those who report or witness crimes.
While specialists say it is not uncommon for people to exaggerate the circumstances of a crime - especially if they are the victim - most are unaware about the importance of their role in an emergency response and the potential consequences.
“To a certain degree [Carrillo] is liable for what he caused the police to do what they did ,’’ said Joseph Pollini, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York “There should be a thorough investigation.’’
Carrillo has been arrested for investigation of involuntary manslaughter.
Prosecutors are weighing whether to file charges.