Vigil Held for Victim of Porterville Police Shooting

PORTERVILLE, Calif.                   |   Watch Video Above for Extended Coverage   |

"Shoot to kill ... yeah, that's outrageous," One of Steen's friends shouted.

The friends, neighbors and family members who came together said they couldn't believe Vincent Steen would have done anything to provoke police to shoot and kill him.

"I'm shocked, I'm appalled at the senseless I mean this young man was a gentle giant," said family friend Linda Green.

"Teddy Bear, big 'ol teddy bear. Wouldn't hurt a soul," said friend and team mate Matthew Ward.

Police said Steen committed some sort of traffic violation while riding his bike on Sunday night. An officer stopped him, and then the trouble started.

Chris Dempsie of the Porterville Police Department described what happened. "Sometime during that contact with the bicyclist a fight ensued between the bicyclist and the officer, the officer called for additional officers to assist him. There was a short struggle with multiple officers and the individual at that point," said Dempsie.

Officers used a Taser on Steen, but the athletic young man, who was about 6'3 and 265 pounds managed to get away and run to his mother's house. Officers chased him, and kicked down the front door.

"Another physical altercation ensued and sometime during that altercation two members of the Porterville Police Department pulled their weapons and fired multiple shots striking and killing the individual," said Dempsie.

His mother and brother apparently witnessed the incident. At the vigil, family members did not want to comment. But one of Steen's former teachers, James Newsom said the young man's death is a shock to all who knew him.

"Vincent was very special and I'm sure everyone is stunned by this it's just the last thing in the world you would expect," said Newsom.

Two of the three officers who dealt with Steen were taken to the emergency room for treatment of minor injuries. They have been placed on administrative leave while the Tulare County District Attorney's Office investigates the shooting.

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