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Anaheim police shooting investigated; 2 officers put on leave

July 23, 2012 |  5:51 am

This posted has been corrected. See the note below for details.

An investigation is underway in an officer-involved shooting that killed one man and sparked protest from several Orange County residents.

Two Anaheim police officers have been put on paid leave as a result of the Saturday shooting, which took place about 4 p.m. in the 700 block of North Anna Drive.

Police Chief John Welter announced the move at a news conference Sunday, according to the Orange County Register. The Orange County district attorney's office is handling the inquiry, Welter said, but Mayor Tom Tait said he would also ask the state attorney general's office to assist.

"I'm asking for a full investigation," Tait said, according to the newspaper. "Transparency is essential. Whatever the truth is, we will own it."

Family members identified the man who was killed as 25-year-old Manuel Diaz. 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 in the 600 block of North Anna Drive.

Welter said at the news conference that the officers saw a man leaning against a vehicle, talking to two other men, and that they considered the activity "suspicious," the Register reported. The officers approached the vehicle and the men fled on foot, officials said.

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

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

Police remained at the scene to investigate 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 loose from an officer's car and charged at several people before it was pulled back, he added.

On Sunday, protesters stormed the front lobby of Anaheim Police Department headquarters during the news conference, chanting "No justice, no peace" and holding signs that read "Justice for Manuel," the Register reported.

[For the Record, 6:47 a.m. July 23: A previous version of this post stated that Manuel Diaz is 24 years old. He is 25. That version also stated that two of three men approached by officers fled the scene of the incident in a car, but three men fled the scene on foot, officials said.]


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