Autopsy Shows Unarmed Black College Student was Shot Seven Times at Point Blank Range by Pasadena Police
Nineteen-year-old Kendrec McDade was shot at point-blank range by one Pasadena police officer and handcuffed after being struck by a total of seven bullets, according to the autopsy report released Friday by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office. . . . Three of the wounds — two in his abdomen and one in his right arm — are considered potentially fatal because they lacerated arteries, according to Pasadena police. One bullet entered through the back of the right arm and another the back of the right forearm. The report also says he was alive and handcuffed after being struck by a total of seven bullets.
In a federal lawsuit, McDade's parents, Anya Slaughter and Kenneth McDade, also allege McDade was left on the street for a prolonged period of time after the March 24 shooting without receiving first aid. The coroner's report shed no light on this allegation.
At a news conference Saturday, Caree Harper, an attorney for McDade's family, said the bullets that hit McDade's arms and one that hit his hip appear to contradict the police's assertion that none of the shots came from behind him.
A diagram in the autopsy report appears to indicate one bullet entered McDade through the back, but the narrative from the report states that bullet's trajectory was "front to back and downward."
"No matter how you want to twist it there were one, two, three and a possible fourth shot" to the back, Harper said.
She also emphasized the downward trajectory of some of the bullets.
"This to us indicates he was either falling or on the ground when he was shot," Harper said.
Lt. Phlunte Riddle of the Pasadena Police Department said some of the bullets entered through McDade's arms because of his movements at the time of the shooting.
McDade, of Azusa, was killed when Pasadena officers Jeff Newlen and Mathew Griffin responded to a report of an armed robbery at a taco truck in northwest Pasadena. One of the officers pursued him on foot and the other from his police cruiser.
The first officer who fired did so while seated in the patrol car as McDade approached with his hand at his waistband. McDade and the officer were “within a foot” of each other, according to the autopsy report.
It is not yet clear whether McDade was actually involved in the taco truck robbery or if he was merely a bystander. It is clear, however, that the police who shot McDade did so under a cloud of false information. McDade was not armed, and the alleged theft victim later admitted that he lied about his assailants having weapons in order to provoke a faster response by police.
McDade also does not fit the profile of the kind of person who would normally commit armed robbery. He has no gang ties or prior arrests, was a star football player in high school, and was a student at Citrus College at the time of his death.
McDade's mother asked anyone with information about the shooting to come forward.
"I want Kendrec's name to be cleared of any wrongdoing," she said, "and I want the cops to be held accountable for my son's death."