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Questions in wake of fatal police shooting at Monterey Park fast-food restaurant

January 24, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
It was a deadly confrontation caught on tape: Monterey Park police officers fatally shot a man who was swinging a metal bar. That man's brother is now questioning the officers' use of deadly force. The slain man's loved ones gathered in Monterey Park for a vigil.

A grieving big brother is desperate to know what went wrong.

"Everyone is shocked. His friends are shocked, we're shocked. Everybody who knew him is shocked," said Danny Rodriguez, older brother of Steven Rodriguez, who was fatally shot Monday morning.

The deadly officer involved shooting was captured on a cellphone camera.

One of two officers at the scene fired a Taser at the 22-year-old after he had started smashing windows at a Carl's Jr. restaurant with a metal bar, but he seemed unfazed.

When Rodriguez raises the metal bar toward them, one officer fires five rounds. Then the second officer fires five more.

"It hurts a lot. It hurts that you see five shots. It hurts that you see him falling, then you see five more shots," said Danny.

Danny says his brother who had recently enrolled at East Los Angeles College to study biology was not a violent person and says they have no idea what caused him to act out.

Authorities are waiting on toxicology tests to determine if drugs or alcohol played a role.

Either way Rodriguez's family says it was no reason to shoot the 22-year-old.

"I want an investigation. I want to know why actions were taken the way they were," said Danny. "I want to know why."

The two officers who shot Rodriguez have not been identified. The L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. is investigating the case.

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