The Pasadena Police Chief has identified Edwin Dumaguindin as the officer who fatally shot Anthony McClain during a traffic obstruction last month.
The official's nomination came after an autopsy released Thursday that revealed that McClain, a 32-year-old black man, was shot twice – not even as originally stated by police.
McClain sustained a wound in the lower right quarter of his back and a graze on his left shoulder while running away from the police. He died hours later at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena. Coroner officials found the bullet shot back through McClain, hitting his right lung before emerging from his chest, causing fatal blood loss.
Police chief John Perez, who posted police videos of the shooting after the traffic obstruction, said the fleeing McClain was holding a gun in his waistband as he pulled out of the passenger seat of the car and then held his left hand as he ran.
McClain's family lawyers say he was holding his belt buckle and a gun recovered across the street was not tied to him. A gun is not clearly visible in the footage released by the Police Department, but McClain can be seen with his hand on his waist as he begins to run.
Carrie Harper, an attorney for McClain's family, has also challenged a coroner's account that officers helped McClain by saying they did not treat his chest wound before paramedics arrived. Harper also said an officer put his knee on McClain's back. Harper sent a letter to the coroner's office complaining that he was "cutting out the police version and pasting it into the public narrative and then a year later the detailed" notes "drawing a different picture".
Upon releasing the official's identity on Thursday evening, the chief reiterated in a statement that McClain was armed with a weapon and made the decision to flee from the location of the traffic obstruction. The department did not reveal forensic evidence tying McClain to the gun, but a witness saw him toss it across the street while running.
The department has repeatedly delayed disclosing the official's identity despite The Times publicly inquiring about the August 15 shootings, which sparked multiple protests and legal claims against the city, and calling for better surveillance of the department, who historically blackened shot men.
Under California law, police officer names are public information unless the department can demonstrate a specific threat to the individual.
The department was confronted by a Times reporter with Dumaguindin's name on Wednesday and declined to confirm his identity. She made threats against another officer who had previously been linked to the shooting.
Perez admitted in a statement that he delayed the release due to concerns about the officer's safety. He said that another officer who was falsely linked to the shooting was the subject of social media threats, including one who said the officer would "die".
Perez said in his statement that he made the decision to publish the name "to prevent further dangerous and / or false rumors."
Harper, a well-known civil rights attorney, posted Dumaguindin's identity on her law firm's Facebook page earlier this week with a still from a video from the scene.
"This incident is undoubtedly a tragedy for the McClain family and the officials involved," said Perez.