Updated at the bottom: A weapon has yet to be recovered from the scene. See also: “Is Kendrec McDade the Next Trayvon Martin? L.A. Civil Rights Leaders Question Pasadena Police Shooting.”
Originally posted at 10 a.m.
Friends and former teammates of recently graduated Azusa High School football star Kendrec Lavelle McDade, 19, are mourning his death last Saturday night at the hands of Pasadena police.
A young man named Andrew Zarco Tweeted: “nooo this cant be.RIP my boy Kendrec Mcdade. it was an honor being able to play football with you.”
McDade was reportedly gunned down around 11 p.m., after he attempted to rob a patron outside a taco truck at Orange Grove Boulevard and Summit Avenue.
The Pasadena Police Department tells the Pasadena Sun that McDade was possibly armed during the robbery, and that the two cops chasing him only opened fire after he reached for his waistband. However, the Sun reports that “as of Sunday afternoon police had not located a weapon in the area of the shooting.”
McDade died from multiple gunshot wounds at 751 Sunset Avenue, according to the L.A. County Coroner's homicide report.
It's all rainy and death is in the air in Pasadena smh rip Kendrec. I hate trigger happy police.
— Yur Dream(@LOOKIts_DejaT) March 25, 2012
The victim was something of a star during his days on Azusa High's varsity football team. Online player profiles show him as a 5-foot-7, 160-pound cornerback and running back with an average of about 8 points per game. They also say the young footballer hoped to major in law after high school.
One shining moment from a match against Gabrielino High School in fall 2009:
After an Eagle drive ended in punt on fourth and a mile, running back Kendrec McDade broke loose on the first play up the middle and zig zagged 70 yards to cash in. McDade then pulled an interception that paved way to another Chavez-Ochoa connection for 34 yards and a 21-6 lead. McDade led all Aztec rushers with 93 on seven chances.
The exact details of his officer-involved death on Saturday night are still unclear. But here's what is known about the alleged stickup beforehand, again via the Pasadena Sun (we've contacted Pasadena police for more):
McDade was taken to Huntington Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Other officers later arrested a second suspect, a 17-year-old African-American male, [Lieutenant Phlunte Riddle] said. …
Police received a call at 11:04 p.m. from a man who said he was driving in pursuit of two men who had taken items from his car as he visited a taco truck. The two had asked him to buy food and he had refused, Riddle said. When he return to his parked car he saw the two men inside and confronted them. One of the men flashed a silver or chrome gun and the man backed off, Riddle said.
Update, 6 p.m.: Lieutenant Riddle says that after two days of searching for McDade's alleged gun, investigators have yet to turn up a weapon.
“We've been back out and we have not been able to locate the gun,” she says. And that's after both helicopters and bloodhounds combed the three blocks where the police chase went down.
Riddle adds that it “has not been determined” if perhaps McDade's 17-year-old accomplice was the one seen with a gun during the alleged robbery beforehand. She says “detectives have interviewed him,” but the spokeswoman hasn't received a full briefing on how that interview went.
The 17-year-old was arrested Saturday on suspicion of murder — McDade's murder. That's because, under California's felony-murder rule, if anyone dies during the commission of certain felonies, the felon gets an extra charge of murder. Even in the absence of malice.
The police shooting of Kendrec McDade has perhaps taken on a new level of scrutiny, given the national focus on the apparently senseless murder last week of young black man Trayvon Martin in Florida.
Another tragic angle is that McDade's family may not have known about his death when the media first started reporting it on Sunday.
Here's the police report in full:
On March 24, 2012 at 11:04 pm, Pasadena Police Officers responded to a call of an armed robbery that just occurred at Summit Avenue and Orange Grove Blvd. The victim followed the two suspects while calling the police on his cell phone. The suspects ran in different directions trying to evade the victim.
Two officers immediately arrived and observed one suspect running near Fair Oaks Avenue and Orange Grove Blvd. The officers pursued the suspect north on Sunset Avenue from Orange Grove Blvd and as they neared him, they observed his hands at his waistband. Fearing for their lives they fired multiple shots striking the suspect. The suspect was transported to local area hospital where he succumbed to his wounds.
The second suspect was arrested in the immediate area without further incident. A command post was set up at Fair Oaks Avenue and Orange Grove Blvd. Pasadena Police Detectives and the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Officer Involved Shooting Team responded to the scene and started their investigation. Los Angeles County Sheriff's bloodhound was called to assist with the evidence search.