A 22-year-old man was reportedly shot dead by police officers in Eureka, California, on Wednesday morning while sitting on his porch checking Facebook.
Eureka Police say Tommy McClain reached for a gun and that they responded by fatally shooting him out of self-defense – but Nichole Mottern, who is the wife of McClain’s cousin Josh Mottern, says this story is not true, reports Inquisitr.
According to Mottern, the young man, who lived with his cousin and his family, was not holding anything in his hand when he was allegedly shot by a group of cops. She says they had returned from celebrating her husband’s birthday and were slightly inebriated. She and McClain were sitting outside after midnight talking when she claims police showed up on their property, reports Lost Coast Outpost.
“A cop yelled, ‘He’s got a gun,’” Mottern said. “They all fired. I saw him getting shot from all different angles. First one fired and then they all fired. It wasn’t one cop. It was them all. There were a lot of cops. He crumpled down into the ground.”
Mottern’s mother-in-law Corinna Ward says she also witnessed the incident and that there were “five or maybe six” officers surrounding the man. It has also been reported that police tasered McCain’s cousin after the shooting.
A neighbor, who wishes to remain anonymous, says she saw something in McClain’s hand at the time of the shooting. Eureka Police Officer Andy Mills says they returned to the property the following day and recovered a gun, but that no additional information would be provided until forensic investigators examined it.
A Facebook memorial page called “Justice for Tommy McClain” has been created by his family and friends. On the page it reads, “On 9/17/14 at 12:30am a precious life was taken due to a Eureka Police Officer making the wrong call. EPD needs to know they did wrong. RIP Tommy”
Police say they were searching for two men with warrants out for their arrest on the night McClain was shot, but it’s unclear whether he was one of the suspects.
Photo Credit: Justice for Tommy McClain/Facebook, Nichole and Josh Mottern/Lost Coast Outpost