Police responded early Monday to a report from a man with an oddly acting revolver, said Bakersfield deputy chief Lyle Martin.
Francisco Serna was shot dead after police said he did not respond to orders to stop approaching and remove his hands from his jacket.
One of the seven officers, Reagan Selman, who responded to the call, shot seven shots at Serna, who died on the scene.
Serna was not armed at the time of the shooting and police couldn’t find a gun, Martin said. A police statement said that a dark simulated wooden crucifix was found on Serna.
“A tragic incident”
“BDP murdered my father for no reason,” daughter Laura Serna told CNN subsidiary KERO. CNN reached out to members of the Serna family on Tuesday evening but received no response.
Eight detectives are investigating the shooting, Martin said.
“I can’t tell you enough that this community is being affected by Mr. Serna losing his life,” Martin told reporters. “This is a tragic incident for her family, for the entire community and for the police.”
One woman who answered a phone number provided for Selman’s wife said they did not want to comment.
Officials on leave
All seven officers are on leave, said Martin. CNN called the Police Benevolent Association, which will be assisting officers during the investigation, for comment, but received no response.
The people who called the police on Monday morning lived across from Serna. One woman told Detectives that she was dropped off at home around 12:35 p.m. when a man approached her in her driveway and asked where she lived.
Thinking she saw a dark brown or black handle on a gun, she went in and asked her husband to call the police. He told a 911 driver the man had a revolver.
The police arrived six minutes later and when the woman saw Serna come out of his house, she said, according to a police statement, “This is him”.
Serna came across the street and Selman, who has been in the department since July 2015, fired when Serna was about 15 to 20 feet away from him.
No other officer was fired and no lower armed forces attempted, said Martin, who becomes chief on Wednesday. Martin said that in the 20 to 30 seconds between the neighbor who said “this is him” and the first shot, officers took cover, gave orders and put together a plan.
Dispatcher: Serna has dementia
CNN subsidiary KBAK reported that Serna’s family said he would take short walks near his home when he couldn’t sleep.
CNN members said Serna’s family told them he had dementia early on and was taking medication. The family also claimed that the police knew Serna had dementia, but Martin said he did not know. However, in an audio recording received from KERO, a dispatcher can say that Serna “has been reported as having dementia”.