The identity of the man who was killed in an officer-involved shooting after running from deputies Tuesday night in Castaic has been released.
According to a statement from Deputy Mike Barraza of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau in Los Angeles, the incident occurred in the 31500 block of Castaic Road at approximately 9 p.m.
Witnesses say that William Bowers, 51, was possibly homeless but was not known to cause trouble.
According to a LASD press release, deputies attempted to stop Bowers after they recognized him from previous interactions and knew he was on probation for a narcotics violation. When the he fled on foot, deputies followed him and eventually made contact with him.
“I was working at Galleons and […]the guy just was like riding his bicycle and he was telling people like, ‘Hide me’ and stuff, he was yelling it out,” said witness, Victor Canas. “The cop just came around and he’s like, the cop took a gun out, to give him a warning like, ‘You better stop running’ and he kept riding. When he got to the taco truck he got off his bike, started running and got shot.”
“They told him to get down on the ground again and he didn’t and they shot him,” said a witness who only wanted be identified as Craig. “[He was shot] up in the heart almost, it was up in the left side of his chest.”
No weapons were found at the scene, said Barraza.
Investigators have yet to have conduct interviews with the deputy involved or any other witnesses as of Wednesday afternoon, according to Barraza.
Castaic Road between Lake Hughes and Parker Road was shut down for several hours after the incident but were reopened as of Wednesday morning.
According to the press release, whenever a deputy-involved shooting results in a fatality of a person, several independent investigations immediately begin at the scene.
Bowers has a lengthy criminal history going back at least to 1985 that include possession and sale of methamphetamines, larceny and additional theft and drug charges that were still pending in court at the time of his death.
According to a Facebook post from Bella Michelle Pritchett, Bowers was a father to a 6-year-old and a newborn in addition to other children.