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A video taken by a passerby shows a man, identified as Jontell Reedom, being pursued by a Tulare police officer and fighting with him.
The officer and his partner used a baton, Taser and pepper spray during the scuffle, but when Reedom took the baton away from one officer that’s when shots were fired.
“It was a horrible thing to watch. He didn’t deserve to die like that. I think there were other things that could have been done to de-escalate the situation,” said Amber Wilson, a friend of the shooting victim.
Wilson and others, who came to leave items at a memorial on the sidewalk where Reedom was killed, saw the video and felt police went too far.
“I think they could have done it a better way than to take a life,” Rick Berry said.
Tulare Police note Reedom was a suspect in a physical assault on a bus driver and resisted arrest.
“During this altercation, the subject grabbed the officer’s baton and that’s when shots were fired,” interim Chief Barry Jones said.
The two police officers involved were injured, and one has a broken nose. Both have been placed on administrative leave while the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department conducts an investigation into the shooting.
Friend Gabe Adulvar said Reedom had mental health problems in recent years and often wandered the streets but was known to police.
“I know they ran into him a lot because people would call because he was walking around a lot. But I don’t want people to remember him like that. I want them to remember him like he was in high school. He was top notch, he was being recruited to Texas and USC,” Alduvar said.
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