Sacramento law enforcement officers fatally shot a Black man who was holding his cellphone on Sunday night, the police confirmed.
Stephon Clark, 22, was in the backyard of his home he shared with grandparents when he was fired at 20 times by police.
Police said they were responding to a call that someone was breaking into vehicles in the area, The Sacramento Bee reports.
A Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department helicopter was dispatched and police reported they saw a man using a “toolbar” to break a window of a home.
Police confirmed on Tuesday that items at the broken door of the home were taken into evidence but no toolbar was found, as initially stated. They recovered a cinder block and a piece of aluminum.
Police said Clark broke a glass door at the home of Bill Wong, 88, and saw him jumping a fence to get into his grandparents’ backyard.
Clark’s grandmother, Sequita Thompson, told The Sacramento Bee that police did not have to shoot at her grandson.
“He was at the wrong place at the wrong time in his own backyard?” Thompson said. “C’mon now, they didn’t have to do that.”
Wong told The Sacramento Bee that he did not hear his window breaking or gunshots.
“I came out, the police is here already,” he said. “They don’t tell me (anything).”
Police alleged that Clark fled from them and walked toward the back of his house, according to The Sacramento Bee. Officers said they followed and “gave the suspect commands to stop and show his hands.”
In a press release, the police department said officers saw Clark facing them and walk toward them with his “arms extended, and holding an object in his hand,” and that officers believed he was holding a gun. No firearm was found; the only item found near Clark was a cellphone.
An investigation is still ongoing, police confirm.
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.