The San Bernardino Police Department released a statement about the incident saying the department had received calls about a man with a gun jumping on cars in the “King Tut” liquor store. An officer quickly responded to the call as he was nearby. The officer approached the man, known as Mark Matthew Bender Jr., and tried to get him to stop but he refused. Bender tried to enter the store that had employees and customers inside.
The officer tried to restrain him but Bender overpowered him. Bender turned toward the officer and pulled a gun which prompted the officer to fire his weapon at Bender. The man was shot four times, officers administered aid and Bender was transported to a hospital where he later died. Cell phone video proved the man pulled a gun on the officer.
Still, members of the community are saying that the officer wasn’t justified in the shooting. One resident said, “You can’t justify a murder because he had a gun. He had a gun, if he did, to protect themselves, probably from them. They’re the ones doing the damage, they’re the ones doing the hurt.”
In addition to the released statement, the Police Department say that they recovered a 9mm handgun at the scene that was not registered to Bender, nor was he allowed to own a weapon a the time. The department also said that Be see has precisely been arrested for domestic violence, possession of narcotics for sale, grand theft, and various probation violations.
Many are saying that racism is the reason for the shooting and not anything else. They also think that even though Bender pulled a gun the officer still shouldn’t have responded the way that he did. Protests have now filled the streets.
Sources: The Blaze, The Daily Mail; Photo-NBC Los Angeles