Sacramento Police Fatally Shoot Unarmed Man Holding Cellphone In Backyard

SACRAMENTO, Calif.  Relatives, activists and Sacramento officials are questioning why police shot at an unarmed black man 20 times, killing him, when he turned out to be holding only a cellphone in his grandparents’ backyard.

Relatives have identified the man as Stephan Alonzo Clark, 22, according to The Sacramento Bee. His fiance, Salena Manni, the mother of his sons, ages 1 and 3, said his first name was Stephon.

“We’re mourning right now and so we need our time to mourn,” she said Wednesday as the family gathered in his grandparents’ home.

Police say the man was spotted breaking at least three vehicle windows Sunday night. Sheriff’s deputies in a helicopter say they saw him break a neighbor’s sliding glass door.

Two arriving officers chased him into the backyard of his grandparents’ home, where he was staying. The department says he refused orders to stop and show his hands. He advanced toward the officers holding an object extended in front of him, the department said. The officers thought he was pointing a handgun and opened fire, fearing for their safety, the department said.

No gun was found and only the cellphone was found near his body when more officers arrived and approached him about five minutes after the shooting, the department said.