The victim has been identified as 22-year-old Stephon Clark. His brother told the Sacramento Bee that Clark was shot in the backyard of the home where he lived with his grandparents and siblings. The department says that police fired at him 20 times. Clark was holding only his cellphone at the time. The cops were investigating a report about someone breaking car windows nearby.
At around 9:15 pm on Sunday night, police arrived at the 7500 block of 29th street. According to the Sacramento Police Department, they had received a call that a six-foot-one man in a black hoodie and dark pants was breaking into cars, and that he had taken refuge in a backyard. A helicopter search ensued. Police located a suspect, who deputies say had picked up a “toolbar,” which he had used to break the window of a home. Officers pursued the suspect to the frontyard of a home before following him to the backyard. The suspect is said to have ignored officers’ commands to stop and show his hands. When they got to the backyard, officers say he made a move toward them “while holding an object which was extended in front of him.” As they believed the object to be a firearm, the police fired at the suspect, who was pronounced dead at the scene. Meanwhile, after what police called “an exhaustive search,” only a cellphone was recovered—no gun.
The two officers involved in the shooting had been with the Sacramento Police Department for two and four years, respectively. Both of them have four additional years of prior law enforcement experience. Neither of the officers was injured, and they have been put on paid administrative leave, in accordance with department policy. Police say the will be releasing footage from the incident, as both officers were wearing body cameras at the time of the shooting. Police say they will also release the video and audio from the helicopter.