The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office in Northern California identified a man shot and killed by police officers in June, reports KDRV. The man was identified as Hmong American Soobleej Kaub Hawj, 35, of Kansas City. The shooting occurred during the Lava Fire evacuations.
The incident occurred on June 28th just outside of the Mount Shasta Vista Subdivision. Police said they were trying to stop Hawj who was trying to drive into the subdivision with his truck. Police said Hawj had a handgun and “may have fired several rounds” before multiple police officers shot him dead.
“Officer Involved Shootings are complex investigations that take time to thoroughly investigate,” the Sheriff’s Office said. “There are certain details surrounding this incident that have not been made public as the investigation is ongoing; however, in the future, once the investigation is completed, a thorough report of the incident will be made public. We ask for your patience and understanding as this investigation is being completed.”
The Hmong community claimed officers fired around 60 shots during the altercation, reports KDRV. Dai Thao, who is a St. Paul Minnesota City council member(California and Minnesota have the largest Hmong population in the U.S.), said Hawj was killed in front of his wife and three kids.
“There needs to be accountability. The Sheriff’s Office made a mistake by killing an innocent man in front of his wife and 3 kids,” Thao said in a statement. “It’s horrifying, shameful and a major blunder. He and his department should be held accountable. The sheriff and his department can’t be judge, jury and executioner. This will only further drift the relationship between the community and law enforcement.”
The Hmong community has planned a rally on Saturday to protest the shooting. They are asking the authorities to release all body and dashcam footage from the shooting and to hold the shooters responsible.
The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on paid administrative leave while the investigation is ongoing.