Kendrec McDade, 19, was shot and killed by Pasadena police officers on Saturday night after police received a 911 call reporting an armed robbery.
The caller, 26-year-old Oscar Carrillo, told police that two black men approached him at this taco stand near Raymond Avenue and Orange Grove Boulevard and asked him to buy them food. After he refused, Carrillo said he saw one of the men stealing a backpack and laptop from his car.
"Two guys just stole my backpack and put a gun in my face right now," Carrillo told a 911 dispatcher. "I'm at Raymond and Orange Grove. They just ran away."
When the dispatcher asked Carrillo if he remembered anything about the gun, he responded, "Both have a gun man, they both, and they run away from me."
Police say Carrillo lied about the men being armed to get police to respond quickly.
When police arrived at the scene and approached McDade and a 17-year-old suspect, officers believed they were both armed. The officers opened fire on McDade as he was reaching for his waistband, believing he was grabbing a gun. No weapons or the stolen items were found.
Caree Harper, an attorney for the McDade family and the 17-year-old suspect, is pleased with the possible charges against Carrillo, but says the officers share the responsibility of the teen's death.
"Carrillo is definitely to blame for a felony, there's no doubt about that, but Carrillo's fingers, to my knowledge, weren't on the triggers of the officers' guns," said Harper.
But police are blaming Carrillo for setting the stage for a dangerous confrontation.
"He says no less than six times that they have guns. At one point, he even says they both have guns," said Pasadena Police Lt. Phlunte Riddle
According to attorney and former officer Donald Schweitzer, Carrillo's role in the confrontation doesn't mean the officers will be cleared.
"We could very well have a situation where both the police officers are found culpable, civilly liable and possibly even criminally liable and the caller liable," Schweitzer said.
Carrillo remains in police custody.
Pasadena police say a review of the surveillance video next to the taco stand shows McDade and the other suspect were involved in a theft from Carrillo's car. The 17-year-old suspect is charged with three felony counts - two for commercial burglary and one for grand theft.
McDade's family has set up a memorial fund at Chase: Bank Account No. 452408953.