Sheriff: Man tried to take deputy's gun before fatal shooting that sparked protests

A bystander's cellphone video captured part of the encounter, during which a deputy is heard yelling, "he's got my gun"

By Richard Winton
Los Angeles Times

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. — The fatal shooting of a Black man by two Orange County sheriff's deputies during an altercation in San Clemente, captured on video, spurred a protest and the arrest of several activists who blockaded a street on Thursday.

At least five protesters were taken into custody when about 50 people demonstrated at the site of the killing.

In a cellphone video of the shooting Wednesday, two sheriff's deputies can be seen confronting the man, later identified as Kurt Andras Reinhold, in the middle of El Camino Real. The deputies then wrestle him to the ground. After one of the deputies yells, "He's got my gun. he's got my gun," two shots can be heard in the video first posted by Local Story.

Orange County Deputy Involved Fatal Shooting with Momeless Man, San Clemente, CA

According to witnesses, the suspect was walking in the middle of the street & obstructing traffic. Orange County Deputies w/ the Homeless Task Force made contact asking the suspect to move to the curb. Suspect was non-compliant & a physical altercation ensued (verified by surveilance video according to Sgt. Dennis Breckner/OCSD) - "It appears the male attempted to get control of the deputy's weapon and shortly after that the deputy involved shooting occured." A witness says he heard a deputy shout, “He’s got my gun!” Moments later, 2 gunshots were fired. Deputies began life saving measures and the suspect was pronounced dead at the scene. The deceased is a male black adult. Source: Orange County Sheriff's Department, CA Location: South El Camino Real & Ave San Gabriel. ----- The witness/videographer has asked not to be identified. Wednesday 9/23/20

Posted by Local Story TV on Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The video begins by showing deputies from a specialized detail that handles homeless issues seeking to corral Reinhold, 42.

The deputies tell Reinhold that he is walking in the middle of the street. Reinhold then tells the deputies repeatedly, "Stop touching me, stop touching me." Reinhold asks the deputies why they are trying to touch him. "Go sit down," one of the deputies says. Reinhold refuses to comply and tries to walk past the deputies.

The deputies then push and grabbed Reinhold and wrestle him to the ground on a grass area on the sidewalk about 1:15 p.m. near the Hotel Miramar.

Reinhold wiggles on the ground as deputies try to apply their weight to him and restrain his arms.

A voice, presumably one of the deputies, then yells," He's got my gun, he's got my gun."

The video, shot by a bystander on the opposite curb, does not show enough detail to determine whether the man actually reached for the deputy's gun.

But within a second, two shots can be heard on the video and the bystander recording the video says, "Oh my God."

The deputies in a second video are then seen desperately trying to perform CPR on the man.

Sheriff Don Barnes said Thursday that Reinhold tried to unholster the weapon. "It is not clear if Mr. Reinhold was able to get the weapon out of the holster," he said.

The sheriff displayed a grainy photo that he said showed the man grabbing the gun. Barnes said surveillance video from security cameras on a nearby business showed the man grabbing the weapon. The Times has not reviewed the video.

"Obviously it ended in a way we did not hope," Barnes said. "Weapon retention is one of the first things taught in the academy."

Carrie Braun, a department spokeswoman, said she could not say what lead to the detention of Reinhold because deputies did not convey that information to the department as part of their statement on the shooting. She said that information will be gathered by the Orange County district attorney 's investigators who handled shootings by sheriff's deputies.

Reinhold had lived in San Clemente for 30 days, the sheriff said, and had be approached about receiving shelter but declined.

©2020 the Los Angeles Times

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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