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After Anaheim shooting and melee, D.A. seeks videos, photos

July 23, 2012 | 12:11 pm

Orange County prosecutors are seeking videotapes, photos and witness accounts of a fatal officer-involved shooting in Anaheim on Saturday that sparked a melee and loud protests.

"Anyone who witnessed the incident, is in possession of cellphone videos, other video recordings, or still photographs, or has additional information is asked to leave a message on the District Attorney Special Investigations hotline at (714) 347-8544," the district attorney's office said in a news release.

Two Anaheim police officers have been placed on paid leave.

Police Chief John Welter made the announcement at a news conference Sunday, where he and Mayor Tom Tait promised a full investigation into the incident, according to the Orange County Register. While the district attorney's office is handling the inquiry, Tait said he would also ask the state attorney general's office to assist.

Tensions were high after Saturday's shooting, which resulted in the death of a man identified by family members as 24-year-old Manuel Diaz, the newspaper reported. Authorities have not confirmed the victim's identity.

Anaheim Police Sgt. Bob Dunn told The Times that the incident began Saturday when two patrol officers tried to approach three men in an alley off North Anna Drive about 4 p.m.

Welter said at the news conference that the officers saw a man leaning against a vehicle talking to two men and considered the activity "suspicious," the Register reported. The officers approached the vehicle, which drove off.

Police then chased the man on foot, who Welter said threw "unidentified objects onto rooftops as he ran," the newspaper said. What led to the shooting was not revealed.

The man was taken to a hospital, where he died about 7 p.m., authorities said.

Police remained at the scene to investigate the shooting throughout the evening, Dunn said, and were encircled by a group of people who began throwing things, including bottles and possibly rocks, at the officers. At one point, the crowd also pushed a dumpster holding burning trash toward police, reports said.

Officers used non-lethal rounds and pepper balls to control the crowd, Dunn said. A police dog also got free from an officer's car and charged at several people before it was pulled back, he said.

The incident sparked outcry from residents already frustrated with a series of officer-involved shootings.


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