SACRAMENTO — The man shot and killed by police in South Sacramento Sunday night was identified by family as 22-year-old Stephon Clark.
Police say officers responded to reports that a man broke into at least three cars along 29th Street in the Meadowview area. A statement released Monday night reports police believe the damage was caused by Clark.
Investigators say a police helicopter spotted who officials believed to be Clark in the backyard of an occupied home and told officers he appeared to have broken a sliding glass door. At the time, deputies say he was using a toolbar to break the glass.
A news release from the police department said the man then went back around to the front of the home and appeared to look into another car.
Officers confronted Clark, who had run to the backyard of a family member’s home. Police said Clark extended his arms forward toward officers with what they believed to be a gun before shooting him multiple times.
“He looked back at our officers and faced them. And had something, an object in his hand, and pointed it at our officers,” said Sacramento Police Sgt. Vance Chandler. “And at that time our officers believed it was a firearm, and out of fear for their own lives they fired their service weapons.”
Following the investigation into the deadly shooting, the Sacramento Police Department reported that no firearms were located at the scene. Instead, investigators found a cellphone near Clark’s body.
Clark was pronounced dead at the scene.
The two officers didn’t move for five minutes while they waited for backup, according to the police department spokesman.
The officers have been placed on paid administrative leave while the incident is being investigated, which is standard department protocol in cases of an officer-involved shooting.
Clark’s family says he was a stay-at-home father of two young sons, ages 1 and 3.
He was killed in the backyard of his grandparents’ home, where his family says he was spending the night. Clark’s family claims he was shot several times in the back.
“An innocent black man, going to his grandma and grandpa’s house where he lived,” said Clark’s aunt, Shernita Crosby. “How are you going to explain that? How are you going to justify that?”
Protestors Monday night joined Clark’s family blocks away from the home. They believe he was holding a wrench at the time of the shooting.
The family disputes that he was confronting the officers at all, saying instead he was shot as he was moving away.
“In the back, so that means he was running,” Crosby told FOX40. “So that means that he was probably saying, ‘This is my grandmama’s house. This is where I live. Leave me alone.'”
The family of Stephen Clark has set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for funeral expenses.