Hans Arellano, known to friends and family as Kevin, was homeless. His friends say the 22-year-old had been sleeping behind one of the businesses near the place where he was fatally shot.
Officers were called to a McDonald's restaurant around 3 p.m. after getting a call about a disturbance. There was a confrontation with Arellano, and then a short foot pursuit that ended with an officer opening fire, police said. Arellano was shot once in the upper torso.
"He didn't deserve to die," said Celine Lopez, an ex-girlfriend.
Santa Ana Police Chief Carlos Rojas alleges Arrellano had been involved in two physical assaults on customers at the complex hours earlier. Rojas also said Arellano was identified as a suspect in a previous robbery. It's not yet clear if the officer involved knew his background.
"When that officer pulls that trigger, we want to make sure there is that fear for their life, and any use of force, especially deadly use of force, is handled appropriately," Rojas said.
Police confirm the officer is a 13-year veteran with the Santa Ana Police Department. The officer did have nonlethal weapons available, but it's not clear why she did not use them.
"I'm not angry, I'm just sad. I just feel really sad. I just want justice, and I want to find out exactly what happened and why," said sister Tania Arellano.
Elizabeth Lopez, who says she treated Arellano like a son, says the only thing missing from his backpack was his iPod. Friends wonder if the officer mistook it for a weapon.
Court records show that Arellano pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary in 2012. His family says he was not a violent man and had been going to church every week. He leaves behind two young children.