Suspect dies after being taken into custody by Fullerton police

Image 1 of 3


An investigation is underway Wednesday over the death of a 50-year-old Buena Park man who died after he was taken into police custody in Fullerton, according to officials. 

The suspect, who was not immediately identified, died at a hospital after he was hit in the chest by a "kinetic energy projectile" employed by the officers, authorities said.

Officers responded to a restaurant in the 1300 block of South Brookhurst Road around 3 a.m. after the manager reported two men who were standing at the front doors "possibly under the influence of drugs." The manager told police he was concerned for the safety of employees as they started to arrive for work.

One of the men ran away just as officers were arriving on scene and was still at-large, said Kristy Wells, a spokeswoman for the Fullerton Police Department.

Officers then attempted to contact the second suspect, who began swinging a belt at them as they tried to make contact, officials said. A taser was used on the suspect, but was ineffective, officials said.

Because the suspect was uncooperative and "continued to act erratically," a "less lethal kinetic energy projectile" was used to take the suspect into custody. 

The suspect was hit in the chest and suffered a significant injury due to that projectile, authorities said.

He was taken to the hospital where he died.

The Orange County District Attorney's Office will conduct an independent investigation of the death.