A Southern California man accused of fatally shooting a homeless man and filming it has been charged with felony voluntary manslaughter, prosecutors said.
Craig Sumner Elliott, 68, was jogging with two dogs and a pushcart in Garden Grove, California, on Sept. 28 when he confronted the man who was asleep on a sidewalk and blocking his path, officials said in a statement this week.
Elliott nudged Antonio Garcia Avalos, 40, with the pushcart, which prompted Avalos to throw a shoe at him, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said in the statement.
Elliott ducked, retrieved a gun from the pushcart, and fired three shots, the DA said. “Elliott is accused of recording Avalos and grabbing a handgun from his pushcart,” the office said.
Garden Grove police responded to the afternoon incident about 1 mile west of Disneyland, according to a statement from the department that day. The victim was rushed to a hospital, where he died, it said.
On Friday, Garden Grove police arrested Elliott based on a warrant, the D.A.’s office said. He was released after posting $100,000 bail, prosecutors said.
The case against him includes “one felony enhancement of personal use of a firearm,” an element that could add time if he’s convicted.
Elliott had an active “concealed carry” permit, prosecutors said. California police and sheriff’s departments are tasked with issuing permits to those who present a compelling need to carry such hidden firearms.
Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the provision of the state’s concealed carry law that required applicants to state a valid reason for their application, such as ongoing threats.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department, which prosecutors said had approved Elliott’s permit, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
It wasn’t clear if the suspect had retained counsel for the case.
A phone message left via a line associated with Elliott’s address was not immediately returned.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office said if he’s convicted, Elliott could face a 21-year state prison sentence.
“This case is a stark reminder that taking the law into your own hands is never the answer and that there are consequences for your actions,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in his department’s statement.