Santa Ana police fatally shoot man in physical altercation; officer injured

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- Santa Ana police fatally shot a man in his 30s late Sunday night during a physical altercation at a strip mall parking lot that left one officer injured, according to authorities.

Two officers contacted a man who was parked in a white truck at about 11:30 p.m. in the area of Sullivan Street and Edinger Avenue, said Cpl. Anthony Bertagna, spokesman for the Santa Ana Police Department. It was unclear what led to the encounter.

An altercation ensued, the corporal said, adding that a Taser was deployed, but whether or not it was successful was unknown.

"An officer-involved shooting occurred," Bertagna said. "Both officers did shoot."

The man was struck by gunfire and transported to UCI Medical Center, where he died, according to police. He was not immediately identified.

Gil Mendez owns the la Pachanga Cantina and Grill near the shooting location. He says his employees heard the gunshots and knew the man who was killed.

"He's a quiet guy. He never did say anything, talked to anybody," Mendez said.

Officials say situations like this one can be avoided.

"The best way to deal with police is follow their orders. If you don't do anything that leads to an altercation, unless you're doing something criminal, your contact's probably going to be short and sweet," Bertagna said.

Police and the district attorney's office are investigating the shooting.

One of the officers involved in the incident was taken to a trauma center after sustaining non-life-threatening injuries in the fight. Bertagna confirmed the officer was not shot. That officer was treated and released.
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