Monterey County

Salinas police identify man shot outside of Mi Pueblo

Community reacts to Mi Pueblo shooting

SALINAS, Calif. - Salinas police have identified the man killed in an officer-involved shooting Friday on East Alisal as Osman Hernandez and said he had no prior criminal record in the city.

Hernandez was shot by officers Friday evening after a citizen reported a man in the parking lot of Mi Pueblo brandishing a knife.

Police said when the man did not comply with officers, they used a stun gun on him. Officers say he still attempted to come toward them with the knife, and that's when two officers fired their guns at him.

The shooting of Hernandez, 26, was witnessed by a number of people who were at the store and there are wildly conflicting accounts of what happened.

The Mi Pueblo parking lot spurred emotional debate online in the last few days. Mayor Joe Gunter says he hasn't been approached by any concerned citizens yet.

"My phone calls have all been concerned with how the officers are doing, and if they were injured. I have heard none of the other reports that the officers have done anything wrong," said Gunter.

Some city leaders like Jose Castenada said they have received angry phone calls from concerned residents and witnesses.

One witness, Carmel Cardiel, told  Central Coast on Saturday that she allegedly saw Hernandez come out of the store peacefully.

"We drove in right there, and the guy had already had his hands up, surrendering himself," said Cardiel.

Mayor Gunter said investigators and the chief of police are trying to get to the bottom of it. 

"If the actions were not appropriate we will hear about it from the chief of police or the district attorney, and they will take necessary action," said Gunter.

City councilman Tony Barerra who represents the district where the shooting happened said he hasn't heard from any concerned citizens yet, but found the news troubling. He says whether the officers' decision was right or wrong, it affects the community's trust in the police.

"Well there is always concern when somebody ends up dead. That's a concern to all of us, to our community, because it calls into question our safety as a city," said Barerra.

Barerra says no one should jump to conclusions.

"We need to give our police officers the benefit of the doubt. They are trained well for these situations. From the outside looking in, it's easy to pass judgement without really knowing the facts," said Barerra.


comments powered by Disqus