A Southern California police officer fatally shot a 23-year-old Black man who was blocked by a building when he attempted to run away, according to officials and video of the incident.
In a Tuesday video statement, San Bernardino Police Chief Darren Goodman said two uniformed officers on Saturday in an unmarked car responded to reports of an armed Black man in the parking lot of a business.
Goodman said that when the officers arrived, a man with a gun, identified as Rob Marquise Adams, started walking toward the car.
But the young man's mother, Tamika King, insisted that he had a cellphone, not a gun, in his hand — and was speaking to her just before police arrived.
King said Adams could be seen in the video celebrating his friend's purchase of a new car.
"He just got a new car, they both have twin BMWs," King told reporters.
"You can see my son dancing because he didn't know what was going on, he was dancing. And I was on the phone and all I heard after that was gun shots. He never told me goodbye. He never told me goodbye."
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump disputed the police account of the shooting.
"She heard the gunfire, she heard the shots in rapid succession and then she never heard her son's voice again," Crump said.
Edited video released by police, which is graphic and captures the shooting, shows two men in the parking lot. One of them appears to take what looks like a handgun out of his waistband, according to Goodman.
"The officers exited their vehicle and gave Adams verbal commands, but he immediately ran toward two parked vehicles with the gun in his right hand. Officers briefly chased Adams, but seeing that he had no outlet, they believed he intended to use the vehicles as cover to shoot at them," he said.
"Fearing that bystanders’ or the officers’ lives were in danger, one of the officers fired his gun, striking Adams."
Body camera video released by police appears to show an officer running toward Adams, who is running from the officers but cannot go any further because he is blocked by a building. In the clip, the officer fires at Adams, who falls to the ground.
It is not clear how many times he was shot.
The video shows the officer, with his gun still drawn, approaching Adams.
"Hey bro, you're going to be OK, man ... Stay with me, OK?" the officer is heard saying in the clip.
Goodman said officers provided Adams with medical aid, but he died at a nearby hospital.
But another attorney representing the family, Chris O’Neal, disputed the police narrative that Adams was given immediate help.
"This man was running away and was shot in the back multiple times," O'Neal said. "He was not given the decency and courtesy of emergency medical care in a timely fashion."
A 9mm Taurus G3c with one round in the chamber and 10 rounds in the magazine was recovered at the scene, Goodman said. The other man who was with Adams was taken into custody and released.
He and other witnesses told investigators that Adams did not respond to verbal commands to drop the gun from the two officers, police said.
Goodman said Adams was a suspect in a previous armed robbery at the location where he was shot. And he "was on felony probation for armed robbery, and had felony warrants for assault with a deadly weapon, possession of stolen property, and robbery," according to the chief.
The San Bernardino Police Department is conducting an investigation into the fatal shooting, while the San Bernardino District Attorney's office is conducting a separate but parallel investigation, Goodman said.