Man Shot Dead by Anaheim Police Was Mentally Ill: Family

The brother of a man shot and killed by Anaheim police was trying to figure out Wednesday what led his brother to confront officers with a knife.

Rene Garcia was supposed to be home Monday afternoon, waiting for their mother to return from the grocery store, said his brother, Santiago. Instead, the 30-year-old grabbed a knife from the kitchen and took off.

For reasons that remain unclear, Garcia pulled up in a pickup truck behind an officer who was conducting a traffic stop. The officer, and a second officer who responded to the scene, said Garcia went after them with the knife. They both opened fire.

"He was not angry," Santiago Garcia said. "He was just mentally ill."

Rene Garcia had worked in construction for the last few years but lost his job a couple weeks ago. He was a recovering drug addict, but did not have a violent past, family members said.

"I believe they could have handled it differently. They have tasers. Why did they have to shoot him directly?" the brother said.

Police were wearing body cameras that were on. The video will be shown to investigators as early as next week, officials said.

Anaheim Police Department policy requires the officers to go on paid administrative leave, consult with a psychologist and talk to district attorney investigators. The release of the final report may be a year away.

According to court records, Rene Garcia had been cited for half a dozen misdemeanors over the last decade. In 2010, he pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance.

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