Innocent bystander shot by Anaheim cop for ‘holding broom handle’


L.A. Times
October 29, 2008

The officer had been chasing four burglary suspects when he encountered and shot the victim, who was holding something in his hand to defend himself from possible intruders.

An Anaheim police officer chasing burglary suspects shot and killed an innocent 20-year-old man who heard a commotion and emerged from his house early Tuesday holding what authorities said was either a broomstick or a shower rod.

The officer encountered Julian Alexander on his front lawn and shot him twice in the chest about 1:30 a.m.

“This is a very tragic situation,” Anaheim Police Chief John Welter said at a news conference. “Julian Alexander was innocent of anything that was going on in the neighborhood at that time.”

Paramedics treated Alexander at the scene in the 300 block of North Muller Street before taking him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Alexander’s wife and mother-in-law said he went outside, believing that he heard possible intruders. The women heard two gunshots and tried to run outside but were stopped by an officer. From their window, they saw Alexander on the ground, handcuffed and bleeding.

“He was a good kid, trying to protect his house,” said Michelle Mooney, his mother-in-law. “And the police, instead of asking questions, they just shot first. Somebody has to be held responsible for this.”

The officer who shot Alexander was not identified and was placed on leave. The shooting is being investigated by the Anaheim Police Department’s office of independent review and the Orange County district attorney’s office.

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