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American Canyon officers who killed homeless man thought he had firearm

Published: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 7:42 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 7:42 p.m.

In the moments before American Canyon officers shot and killed a homeless man in a stolen pickup, the man had been reaching toward the passenger side of the cab and then pointed an opened multi-tool at the officers, Napa County sheriff's officials said Tuesday.

The four officers said they thought the metallic thing was a firearm when they opened fire on Angelo Moreno, 27, who also had a glass pipe in his mouth, Capt. Tracey Stuart said.

The encounter began just after 10 p.m. Friday when an officer tried to stop a white 1991 Mazda pickup with no license plate, Stuart said. The pickup was reported stolen from Rodeo.

Moreno stopped only after the pickup became stuck in a field, Stuart said. Moreno did not follow police orders, reaching around the cab and for the glass pipe in his mouth, Stuart said.

Moreno brandished a 4.5-inch-long opened multi-tool, holding "it as if it was a firearm, and pointed it toward the officers on the driver's side of the truck," Stuart said.

The autopsy revealed Moreno died from multiple gunshot wounds and had methamphetamine and marijuana in his system, Stuart said.

The officers were identified as Sgt. Mike Hunter, Deputy Cullen Dodd, Deputy Bryan Schultz and Deputy Kenneth VanDyke. All deputies are on paid administrative leave.

Moreno was homeless and living in the Martinez area, Stuart said.

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