SALINAS (CBS SF) — A 23-year-old Salinas man was shot to death late Wednesday during a demonstration where people threw bottles and other objects at police and emergency staff, injuring an officer trying to save the man, police said Thursday.
Constantino Garcia, a resident of the area of Del Monte and Mae avenues, was reported shot at 9:07 p.m. by an unknown assailant while standing on the sidewalk in front of his home watching protesters, police said.
At least 100 people were there Wednesday taking part in a demonstration to protest a fatal shooting by Salinas police officers of a man in the same area shortly after noon Tuesday.
As officers and emergency medical personnel got to the scene to give medical aid to Garcia, some people who had gathered during the demonstration started to fling bottles, sticks, bricks and rocks at them.
One of the police officers was stuck in the head by a bottle as he was administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation to Garcia. The blow prevented the officer from continuing his attempt to revive the victim, police said.
Garcia was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
None of the approximately 100 people who possibly witnessed the shooting came forward to assist police in their search for suspects, according to police.
Garcia had recently moved to Salinas with his wife and child, police said.
At 11 p.m. Wednesday, Salinas and Seaside police arrested Diego Garcia, 26, on suspicion of inciting to riot, resisting arrest and a probation violation after officers claimed he tried to get protesters to join him in challenging police and then got into “a fighting stance” next to officers, according to police.
Police Chief Kelly McMillin said he will send copies of reports on deadly police shootings on May 9 and this past Tuesday to the FBI’s San Francisco’s office and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division “to determine if further investigation is warranted.”
“I welcome any investigation of any allegation of misconduct,” McMillin said. “The Salinas Police Department is an open book.”
Salinas police, who are the lead agency in investigating shootings by its officers, will forward its report also to the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office to decide if criminal charges would be filed against the four officers involved in the two killings.
Police urge those with information about the shooting of Garcia to contact Detective Zuniga or Detective Gonzalez of the Police Department’s investigations bureau at (831) 758-7929 or (831) 758-7127.
Those wanting to remain anonymous can call the Police Department’s anonymous tip line at (831) 775-4222 or the We-Tip line at (800) 78-CRIME.
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