An 88-year-old Black man killed by officers in California was a former employee of the same police department

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A patrol car seen in West Sacramento, California, in 2015. AP Photo/Martha Irvine
  • The police in Sacramento, California, fatally shot Robert Coleman, an 88-year-old Black man, on Saturday. Days later, it was discovered that Coleman was a former member of the police department, The Sacramento Bee reported.
  • “Many people are impacted any time a life is lost. In this case, Mr. Coleman was not only a loving husband and a caring father, but he was also a member of the West Sacramento Police Department family for almost 10 years,” the West Sacramento Police Department said in a statement.
  • Coleman held several positions at the department from the late 1990s to the early 2000s.
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Authorities in California identified a Black man who police officers fatally shot on Saturday as a former employee of the West Sacramento Police Department, The Sacramento Bee reported.

The local coroner identified the man as Robert Coleman, an 88-year-old from West Sacramento, according to a statement released by the local police department.

“Many people are impacted any time a life is lost. In this case, Mr. Coleman was not only a loving husband and a caring father, but he was also a member of the West Sacramento Police Department family for almost 10 years,” the West Sacramento Police Department said in a statement Monday.

The police said Coleman held multiple jobs at the department, serving as a code-enforcement officer, parking officer, and police volunteer.

According to KCRA-TV, Coleman was shot by officers Saturday after they responded to an unrelated 911 call about a man with a gun, the West Sacramento police said in a separate statement.

When officers arrived at the scene, they discovered Coleman in a vehicle parked nearby. The department said that an officer tried to engage with Coleman at that point but that the man “exited the vehicle armed with a handgun and a shooting ensued.” The city plans to release body-camera footage of the incident.

Coleman’s family said it told the police that Coleman was battling with mental illness at the time. The officers involved were placed on administrative leave.