Carrillo faces possible prosecution and deportation after officer-involved shooting death of unarmed teen
The man accused of making exaggerated statements that officials say led to the officer-involved shooting death of an unarmed African-American teenager in Pasadena last Saturday night has been living in the United States without proper documentation and could face deportation after he is prosecuted, the Weekly has learned.
“He is in the country illegally,” Pasadena police Lt. Phlunte Riddle said of 26-year-old Oscar Carrillo.
Carrillo was being held on $25,000 bail after being arrested on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the death of 19-year-old Kendrec McDade of Azusa, who was shot by two Pasadena police officers on Sunset Avenue near Orange Grove Boulevard.
Carrillo, according to 911 tapes of the incident, first told police that McDade and another teen, also African American, had robbed his car and that both teens were armed with guns. Carrillo later admitted that he had fabricated the story to get police to the scene more quickly. Neither young man was armed.
“If he is convicted, he will go to through the process with immigration,” Riddle said of Carrillo. “But [deportation] is not part of the Police Department’s process,” Riddle said. “That is part of the court process and immigration.”
Carrillo’s country of origin was not immediately known. Because courts and government offices were closed Friday in honor of Cesar Chavez Day, which is Saturday, it was also not immediately known whether the District Attorney’s Office would follow the police recommendation and file a charge of involuntary manslaughter against Carrillo. California law allows prosecutors to file murder charges against anyone implicated in a crime that results in a death.
In the March 24 incident, McDade and an unidentified 17-year-old allegedly broke into Carrillo’s car at about 11 p.m. near a taco truck parked around the corner of North Fair Oaks Avenue and Orange Grove Boulevard. Carrillo told authorities that he saw McDade and the youngster ransacking his car before they ran off in separate directions.
When officers arrived, Carrillo told them that one of the youths had stolen his backpack. He also changed the story somewhat, saying one of the assailants was armed. Officers spotted McDade on Sunset Avenue and gave chase — one officer on foot, the other driving in a police cruiser. Fearing for their safety, the officers — Matthew Griffin and Jeffrey Newlen, both hired in 2007 — opened fire when they noticed McDade’s hands enter his waistband.
Police scoured the area of the shooting for days, but did not find a gun. Carrillo was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter after it was determined that he had lied to police.
“The Latino community always gets the wrong end of the stick. He was a victim and now he is arrested, and he is being deported. The people who killed [McDade] were the police, not this guy,” said one politically involved member of Pasadena’s Latino community who asked not to be identified.
The 17-year-old male, who will be tried as a juvenile, faces two counts of burglary, one count of grand theft and one count of failing to register as a gang member, said Riddle.
Chief Phillip Sanchez and other police officials will address residents about the shooting at 9 a.m. Saturday at New Revelations Missionary Baptist Church, 855 N. Orange Grove Blvd. Sanchez said he has asked the Los Angeles County Office of Independent Review to investigate the shooting.
The death of McDade comes as racial tensions grip the nation following the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old African-American youth, by George Zimmerman, a Neighborhood Watch patrol agent in a Florida housing complex.
The Pasadena shooting also occurred just five weeks from the 20-year anniversary of the Los Angeles Riots, which were sparked by the acquittal of the four LAPD officers seen in a videotaped beating Altadena’s Rodney King in March 1991.
In a prepared statement issued Sunday, NAACP Pasadena Branch President Joe Brown called for calm as police conduct their investigation of the McDade shooting.
“I feel extremely bad for this young man. He could have been my son,” said the community activist. “But sending Oscar back to his country will not bring him back. Oscar was a victim, and now he is arrested. Unbelievable.”