On Monday morning, police fatally shot an allegedly unarmed 73-year-old man in Bakersfield, California.
The family of Francisco Serna explained that he was suffering from the early stages of dementia, and are seeking answers as to why he was shot, according to People.
Multiple reports indicated that the police responded to 9-1-1 calls that there was a man with a gun in the neighborhood. Around 12:30 a.m., Serna was in the driveway of his neighbor's home in Bakersfield's Silver Creek community. When law enforcement officials arrived at the scene, a witness pointed out Serna to say that he was brandishing a firearm.
The Kern County Coroner's office reported that Serna was declared dead on the scene at 1:15 a.m. on Monday.
The police have not yet made a public statement regarding the issue.
Sgt. Gary Carruesco, the Bakersfield police spokesman, has not identified the police officer responsible for the shooting. However, he did mention that the officer fired several rounds at Serna.
Carruesco said: "As some point during that contact, an officer fired several rounds striking the individual."
There were no gun or weapons found at or around the scene, according to KBAK-TV. The authorities also searched Serna's home and vehicle but found no firearm.
Serna was the father of five, and was a retired cotton gin worker. He lived with his wife and one of his daughters.
One of his sons, Rogelio Serna lives only a few blocks away. Upon hearing the news, he went to the scene of the incident.
"My dad did not own a gun," Rogelio Serna said. "He was a 73-year-old retired grandpa, just living life. He should have been surrounded by family at old age, not surrounded by bullets.”
Rogelio explained that his father would regularly go through walks in the neighborhood as he had trouble sleeping. He also informed the media that Francisco began showing signs of dementia in 2015. In the past few months, Serna's symptoms had become worse. Rogelio said that he occasionally experienced delusions.
KBAK-TV also reported that the officer who shot Serna has been placed on administrative leave.
Serna' family is holding a candlelight vigil on Tuesday night at 6 p.m. outside of Serna's home on Silver Birch Ave.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Francisco Serna's family during this difficult time.
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