Photos: Steve Marcotte / OsideNews
Oceanside CA- An Oceanside Police officer was flagged down at the harbor by someone with a complaint about a “sleeper”. A man sleeping on a bench in front of Breakwater Yachts, 1351 Harbor Dr North, Suite B, at the Oceanside Harbor around 9:00 a.m., this morning. Upon contacting the person, the officer saw a handgun in the person’s waistband. The person reached for the gun and the officer, fearing for his safety, fired his handgun and struck the person multiple times.
“I heard a male voice, which I assume was the officer, barking a command and then I heard, what I thought, were four blasts immediately.” said Mike Forrest, who owns a boat at the harbor. “That’s when I looked over and I saw a body falling on the ground.” continued Forrest “The next thing I saw was two other officers show up and it looked like they kicked a gun or something away from the person on the ground.”
The Oceanside Officer made contact and requested cover. “More officers were on the scene in seconds. They started life-saving measures immediately,” said Oceanside Police Lieutenant, Leonard Cosby.
The shots echoed throughout the harbor as people were eating breakfast and getting coffee across the way. The exact amount of shots heard varied from witness to witness.
A couple who said they had just walked past the man sleeping on the bench and thought it was a little unusual but didn’t think much of it, then, they heard all the commotion. ” The man looked like he was sleeping but he could have been passed out .” said the man who wished not to be identified. “He was a big dude. So we just sorta looked at him and walked by and then we heard the officer yell “Get down on the ground” and then pop, pop, pop, pop, pop.” he continued ” I’m a Vietnam Vet and I heard those shots and knew exactly what the hell was going on.”
The man, whose identity has not been released, was shot several times by the Oceanside officer. Firefighters and paramedics initiated CPR on the man, transported him by ambulance to the west side of the harbor, he was then airlifted to Scripps-La Jolla Hospital where he later died. Identification of the person is being withheld pending notification of his next of kin.
Detectives for the Oceanside Police Department have confirmed the person was a documented gang member from the San Pedro area. A 9mm handgun was recovered at the scene.
The area was unusually busy for an early Monday morning in April but nice weather, spring break and the high school surf championships had brought out a lot of people, enjoying the harbor’s attractions.