The San Diego Union-Tribune
A police officer last month fired through the open passenger door of a car, striking a suspected car thief at least once as he sat behind the wheel telling the officer to shoot him, according to video of the incident released Monday by El Cajon police.
Keith Crenshaw, the unarmed 21-year-old Arizona resident who was shot, remained hospitalized Monday, more than a month after the Feb. 12 shooting, according to El Cajon police.
On Feb. 14, police said Crenshaw was hospitalized in stable condition. Police did not give an update on his condition Monday.
The officer who shot Crenshaw was identified Monday as Brandon Stanley, who was also involved in a non-fatal police shooting in 2014, when he and two other officers fired on a man who fired a pistol at them.
Officer Manuel Sandoval and Officer Rojenah Jabrael, a trainee, were also on scene when Crenshaw was shot last month, though Sandoval and Jabrael did not fire their weapons.
The incident unfolded around 9 a.m. that morning, a Wednesday, after a Phoenix police detective called from Arizona and told an El Cajon dispatcher he’d tracked a stolen car to South Johnson Avenue near Chamberlain Avenue, about a block south of El Cajon Boulevard.
The video released Monday tracks closely to how El Cajon police described the shooting in the days after it happened. In three body-worn camera videos, officers are seen parking their patrol SUVs directly in front of and behind the car that’s been reported stolen. Crenshaw is apparently asleep inside.
The videos do not clearly show what movements Crenshaw makes as he awakes, but police have said Crenshaw kept his hands hidden from officers, and the videos show the officers commanding him several times to take his hands out of his shirt.
After Stanley opens the passenger door, Crenshaw can be heard telling him to “just shoot me.” Crenshaw then tells the officer three more times to “shoot me.”
As Stanley backs away from the car, he warns Crenshaw several times he will shoot him if he doesn’t show his hands. Just after Stanley asks Jabrael for a “less-lethal” weapon, Crenshaw shouts something that’s unintelligible on the video. Police have said he shouted “shoot me before I do it.”
Stanley fires his service pistol twice, striking Crenshaw at least once on what appears to be the lower right side of his torso, according to the video. Stanley then pulls Crenshaw out of the car by his arms through the passenger side front door, and the officers go to work giving him medical aid.
Crenshaw was not armed, and no weapon was found in the car, according to police.
El Cajon police are conducting an internal investigation to determine if officers followed department policy during the incident, and the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office will review Stanley’s decision to use force, according to El Cajon police Chief Mike Moulton.
The shooting of Crenshaw will be the second in San Diego County, and the first in El Cajon, that’s reviewed by prosecutors under a new, tougher law that went into effect Jan. 1 that raised the standard for when police can use deadly force.
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