Police fatally shot men outside San Bernardino's liquor store
A policeman fatally shot a man after an altercation partly caught on camera Thursday night outside a San Bernardino liquor store.
The man, Mark Matthew Bender Jr., 35, died at a local hospital, Sgt. John Echevarria said. During the battle, Echevarria said Bender "retrieved a knife from his pocket."
"When the officer saw he had a knife, he protected himself with his pistol," Echevarria said, noting that the scene detectives found a revolver Bender reportedly drew from his pocket before being shot.
The San Bernardino Police Department released video from the officer's body camera documenting the deadly incident lasting only one minute. The cop, not named, responded after 11 p.m. Thursday to a call from a man in King Tut Liquor's parking lot on East Base Line Street's 200 block, Echevarria said.
The video shows the officer approaching Bender in the parking lot, drawing his pistol. "Hey, come here," says the cop.
"Why carry a gun on me? "Ask Bender, walk away.
"Let me see your hands," he asks. Bender lifts his hands briefly, moving them back to his waistline and pockets as he heads towards the entrance to the liquor store.
"Man, I go to shop," he says. "Touch me not. Touch me not.
A struggle occurs, and the body camera video becomes impossible to see.
"Get to the deck," said the cop. "Stop walking! Avoid fighting! A video shot by a bystander and received by KTLA-TV shows the cop tossing Bender over and over the pavement in front of the liquor store.
Straddling Bender, who lies face down, says, "Stop fighting, dude." "What you're doing?
"Bender says, shrugging off his back and getting up. He says, "Get off," pretending to hold a black object in his right hand. The officer shoots four bullets in rapid succession, according to the footage. From the bystander footage, it seems when the rounds were fired, Bender's back was turned to the cop.
In a statement, San Bernardino police said after he fired his shot, Bender started turning to the cop. Scene investigators discovered a locked, 9 mm pistol that Bender had pulled from his wallet, according to police.
Bender, a San Bernardino Black resident, was shot several times at a nearby hospital, Echevarria said.
During a press conference Friday morning, police attempted to frame him as physically threatening, mentioning his height and weight — 6 foot 3 and 300 pounds — and cataloging what they termed his "long criminal record," leading one bystander to comment, "What does that have to do with killing him?
The shooting comes at a busy time for police forces nationwide. A string of heavily publicized police shootings that left Black people dead or critically wounded in Minneapolis; Louisville, Ky.; Kenosha, Wis.; and elsewhere strained tensions between police officers and