Cops cuff college student after fatally wounding him with seven shots

Kendrec McDade
Authorities investigating the killing of a 19-year-old college athlete have determined that not only did multiple shots fired by cops cause the death of Kendrec McDade — but that police officers cuffed the suspect as he laid dying on the street.

The Los Angeles County coroner’s office has released their report on the death of Kendrec McDade, a young black man who was shot and killed by cops in Pasadena, California this past March after police officers responded to a fraudulent 911 call. According to the medical examiner that assessed the body, at least three of the shots fired at McDade were fatal. The report also reveals, however, that authorities thought it was appropriate to shackle the teenager after emptying more than half a dozen rounds into his body.

The officers that shot and killed McDade did so while responding to a 911 call placed by local shop owner Oscar Carrillo. At the time he dialed for help, Carrillo told dispatchers that he was the victim of a robbery and claimed that two armed men stole his backpack. Cops responded and would eventually open fire when one of the suspects they stopped, McDade, reached towards his waistband.

Both officers involved have gone on the record to say they realized McDade was unarmed, but not until they had already shot the suspect. Carrillo later admitted that he made up that claim that the robbers were armed in hopes that law enforcement would be dispatched right away. A second teen was arrested nearby and charged with two counts of commercial burglary, one count of grand theft and one count of failure to register as a gang member as a condition of his probation. For his role, Carrillo was charged with involuntary manslaughter.

The parents of the deceased don’t think that the police are putting together the pieces to the puzzle, though. McDade’s mother and father have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Pasadena Police Department because they feel like higher-ups on the force tried to cover up the officer’s own mistakes.

Pasadena Lt. Phlunte Riddle tells the Los Angeles Times that he cannot comment on the case while an investigation is being conducted, but that, typically, it is up to the officer on the scene to decide when to remove the cuffs of a suspected criminal.

"Procedurally, until an individual has been deemed to be no further threat, the officer can use discretion to unhandcuff," Riddle tells the paper.

In the case of McDade, then, it would seem as if the officers felt threatened until paramedics arrived and moved the bloodied, bullet-riddled body of the young man onto an ambulance.

Detective Van Hecke of the Pasadena Police Department writes in his official witness statement that one of the officers involved handcuffed McDade on the ground aware that at least four shots had been fired.

The witness statement authorized by Detective Van Hecke explains that paramedics were dispatched to the scene in regards to a medical aid call after McDade was injured:

“Upon their arrival, they found the decedent lying prone on the asphalt in the middle of the street with his hands cuffed behind his back. They noted (8) visible gunshot wounds to his body. They noted the decedent to be combative and restrained him. He was awake and alert and had vital signs.”

How combative McDade actually was could be a decision that may be left for a court to decide. Both officers that opened fire, Detective Keith Gomez and Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez are all named as defendants in the federal lawsuit.

Whatever the outcome, it should be noted that the coroner determined that at least three of the bullets were still lodged in the victim’s body before he died. His iliac, femoral and brachial arteries were all lacerated in the event before McDade was cuffed.

“They transported him to the ER where ER personnel noted (11) gunshot wounds to his body (ten to the front and one to the rear),” continues the report. “He was awake and speaking, but altered. He then began to lose his pulse.”

McDade was pronounced dead shortly after midnight on March 25. When the coroner finished a separate examination of the body outside of the ER, only seven gunshot wounds were identified, although eight casings were recovered from the scene.

The boy’s father, Kenneth McDade, told the Associated Press earlier this year that he was outraged that the Pasadena PD has pegged the blame seemingly solely on Carrillo for lying in his emergency call.

“How can I put my trust in a system that doesn't ever work for us?" McDade asked the AP.

The family is seeking unspecified damages.