The US government has sent condolence messages to the family of a Ugandan refugee, Alfred Olango, who was shot dead by police officers in the US on Wednesday.
Through the social media platform, Facebook, the US Embassy in Kampala sent its condolence messages to Olango’s family and friends.
“We are aware of reports that on September 29, Alfred Olango was shot and killed during an incident with law enforcement officers in El Cajon, California. We extend our deepest condolences to Mr. Olango’s family and friends,” reads their statement posted Thursday.
Olango was killed on Tuesday after the officers responded to a call from his sister who said that he needed help. She said he was mentally unwell.
El Cajon police Chief Jeff Davis said Mr Olango died after one officer fired an electronic stun gun and another officer simultaneously fired his firearm several times.
Police, who had already acknowledged that the object was not a weapon, confirmed on Wednesday that the object was a three inches (7.6cm) long silver vaping cigarette.
Another woman, who identified herself as the victim’s sister, shrieked and cried,telling officers that she had called them to help her brother.
“I just called for help and you came and killed him,” she said. However, claims that Olango had his hands in the air when he was shot have been disputed by the police.
This latest fatal shooting of a black man by police comes during a year when police violence against African Americans has divided the country and sparked numerous protests, some of which have turned violent, most recently in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Chief Davis has appealed for calm and is promising a thorough investigation into the shooting.
“This will be transparent,” he insisted.”This will be looked at by multiple sets of eyes, and not just ours.”
As candles and flowers were laid at the scene of the shooting on Wednesday, Olango’s cousin Anthony Williams paid tribute.
“He was a cool dude, for real. He was no mean person, the whole picture how they got showing him pointing a gun; I don’t believe none of that. That ain’t him, I know for sure.”