Police Killing of Bakersfield Grandfather Holding Crucifix Sparks Anger, Anguish

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The tragic chain of events began early Monday morning when Bakersfield police received a 911 call saying a man had menaced two women with a gun.

Authorities arrived in the southwest Bakersfield neighborhood and came across Francisco Serna, 73, who was walking out of his home across the street from police. The woman immediately pointed and identified Serna as the threatening man.

Police said Serna refused an officer’s orders to take his hands out of his pocket. The officer eventually fired seven rounds, striking him five times, according to a coroner’s report.

When authorities searched Serna’s body, they did not find a weapon. Instead, they recovered a dark, faux wood crucifix. Family members later revealed Serna was suffering from the early stages of dementia.

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