Anaheim Police Fatally Shoot Man During Morning Car Chase

A.nother P.erson D.ead. Photo by Gabriel San Roman

The family of an Anaheim man called police this morning concerned that he was possibly drugged out and hallucinating. Eliuth Penaloza Nava, 50, sat parked in his vehicle on 500 West Street around 9:35 a.m. when his family also told officers he was armed with a knife and gun. 

Police arrived promptly on scene and attempted to make contact with Nava. Authorities say the man decided to flee in his vehicle and brandished a gun out the window. The slow-speed chase weaved through residential streets when an officer-involved shooting occurred at one point during the pursuit.

Nava drove back to where the incident all began on West Street where he was pulled from the vehicle bloodied from the shooting. Paramedics arrived and transferred him to UCI Medical Center in Orange where he was later pronounced deceased. 

Details on what prompted the shooting are scant, but police were equipped with body-worn cameras that were activated during the incident. Authorities also released a photograph of a BB gun recovered at the scene. 

BB gun. Courtesy APD

Anti-police brutality activists remember July 21 as a troubled day in the city’s history. Six years ago today, an Anaheim officer fatally shot Manuel Diaz, an unarmed 25-year-old man, on Anna Drive sparking days of riots. The Orange County District Attorney’s (OCDA) office cleared policeman Nick Bennallack of any criminal wrongdoing in the shooting the following year. A federal jury later found the officer liable for excessive force in a civil trial. 

This morning’s shooting marks the fifth critical incident–three officer-involved shootings and two in-custody deaths–for the department this year. All five cases are currently being investigated by the OCDA’s office.  

Gabriel San Roman is from Anacrime. He’s a journalist, subversive historian and tallest Mexican in OC.