SANTA ANA (CNS) - Santa Ana city officials issued condolences to Councilman Johnathan Ryan Hernandez after officers from nearby Anaheim fatally shot his cousin Brandon Lopez after an hours-long standoff.
Hernandez said his cousin was having a mental crisis when he was shot.
“They killed him,” Hernandez told the website Voice of OC. “In my district, in my city, in front of his family, my family member gets killed on the very block he grew up in, by a police department that isn't even from here. Then they left. They just dipped. Business as usual. This was a mental health crisis. He needed help.”
Lopez, who was identified as a suspect with a history of armed robberies, was seen by police driving a stolen vehicle around 5 p.m. Tuesday in Santa Ana and when two Anaheim police patrol vehicles attempted to stop him, he drove away and a police pursuit began, said Sgt. Shane Carringer of the Anaheim Police Department.
An Anaheim police helicopter joined the pursuit along with Santa Ana police and Lopez's vehicle became disabled after he crashed into a railroad construction site in the area of Santa Ana Boulevard and Bristol Street, where police attempted to negotiate a surrender with him, Carringer said.
Police negotiators spent three hours trying to negotiate with Lopez to surrender peacefully before SWAT personnel from the Anaheim Police Department took over. They worked for over an hour to attempt to persuade him to surrender but Lopez refused.
Just before 10 p.m. Tuesday officers used chemical agents to draw Lopez out of his vehicle and after he stepped out, a police officer shot him. Carringer said only Anaheim police were involved in the shooting.
Lopez was pronounced dead at the scene and no officers were injured, police said.
Lopez is survived by four children and his parents.
Santa Ana police will be assisting the Orange County District Attorney's Office with the investigation of the shooting.
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