Calif. Cop Kills Unarmed Man With Dementia

Police say 73-year-old ignored officers' requests
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 13, 2016 7:58 AM CST
Calif. Cop Kills Unarmed Man With Dementia
Stock photo   (Getty Images/kali9)

Family members are demanding answers after they say a police officer fatally shot an unarmed 73-year-old man with dementia in Bakersfield, Calif., on Monday. Authorities say they were responding to a call about a man brandishing a gun outside a home around 12:30am when a witness on the scene pointed to Francisco Serna, standing in a neighbor's driveway, reports the Los Angeles Times. Police say an officer opened fire after Serna failed to comply with requests, per KGET; family members tell KERO that eight shots were fired. Serna was pronounced dead at 1:15am, per the AP, but investigators say a search turned up no gun.

"My dad did not own a gun," says Serna's son. "He was a 73-year-old retired grandpa, just living life." Rogelio Serna adds his father had been showing signs of dementia since last year and police had previously visited his home—on the same block where the shooting occurred—at least twice when a disoriented Serna activated a medical alarm. His condition appeared to have worsened in the last month, Rogelio Serna says. His father had difficulty sleeping and sometimes walked late at night to fatigue himself before bed. "He should have been surrounded by family at old age, not surrounded by bullets," his son says. (More police shooting stories.)

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