Body-camera video shows police officer fatally shooting man in home

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Body-worn camera video released Tuesday shows the moment when a San Diego police officer fatally shot a 48-year-old man in a bathroom during a confrontation inside his City Heights home.

The San Diego Police Department released the footage, along with audio recordings and the department’s account of the Aug. 22 incident.

Police said Officer Mitchel Tani shot Scholar Wang that morning after officers forced open the door to a bathroom where Wang was barricaded. They said Wang struck a police dog with a metal bar and then raised the bar above his head, prompting Tani to open fire.

Before the shooting, officers were sent to the home on Bridgeview Drive near White Sage Lane, which Wang shared with two of his aunts, after he reportedly attacked them.

One of the aunts knocked on a neighbor’s door and asked for help after the attack, police said. The neighbor called 911 around 8 a.m., according to audio of the call released by the Police Department.

Paramedics took the women, ages 73 and 79, to a hospital for treatment. One of them suffered a cut to her head and the other had bruising on her forehead and fractures to her wrist and forearm, police said.

One of the women told the officers that Wang had attacked her with a wooden object. The other said he struck her with a metal object, police said.

The body-worn camera video shows officers standing outside the home before the shooting. They use a loudspeaker to order Wang to walk out of the home and surrender.

“We need you to come out with nothing in your hands and your hands up,” an officer can be heard saying in the recording. “If you do not comply with our commands, we’re going to send a police dog and you will be bit. We do not want to do that.

“We do not want to hurt you,” the officer says. “We want to do this safely.”

Wang does not comply, and around 9 a.m., officers enter the home through a back patio door. By that point, Wang had gone into a bathroom, and officers found objects blocking the door, according to police and the body-worn camera footage.

Officers instruct Wang to walk out, but he does not comply. Officers then move items out of the way — two chairs, a small wooden table and another piece of furniture, according to the police footage.

Outside of the home, other officers spray pepper spray through a window and into the bathroom to get Wang to surrender, according to police and the video footage. The officers can be heard saying they saw Wang holding a “bar.”

Just before 10 a.m., an officer kicks open the bathroom door, according to the footage. Police said Wang swung the metal bar at the officer as the door opened, although the footage does not show that clearly. The video shows the tip of an object poking out of the doorway.

Tani, a canine handler, then releases a police dog, according to the footage. He and other officers then walk toward the bathroom.

“Let me see your hands or you’re going to get shot,” an officer says. “Let me see your hands.”

As the officers walk up to the bathroom and stand at the doorway, Wang, in the shower stall, which is largely out of view, appears to strike the dog with the metal bar, raising it above his head and lowering it. The dog appears to try to bite Wang. Within 5 seconds, as officers repeatedly order Wang to show them his hands, Tani fires.

Wang was struck and taken to a hospital, where he died.

The police dog suffered a cut to its head, police said. No officers were injured.

The county Sheriff’s Department is investigating the shooting, as per a countywide protocol that ensures local law enforcement agencies no longer investigate shootings involving their own officers or deputies.

Tani has been on the San Diego police force for almost 10 years.

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