California police fatally shot 23-year-old Black man as he ran away, video shows

Police in California are investigating after an officer fatally shot a 23-year-old Black man over the weekend as he ran from law enforcement.

Rob Marquise Adams, who police say was armed when authorities arrived at the scene, died after he was shot about 8 p.m. Saturday in San Bernardino, the San Bernardino Police Department reported Tuesday.

Security camera footage from a parking lot in the city, just 60 miles east of Los Angeles, shows two officers pull into the lot in an unmarked car while Adams stood in the lot near another unidentified man.

As soon as both officers exit the car, the video shows Adams turn away from them and run. In the video, about five seconds after the officers get out of the car, one of them fires at Adams from a distance, apparently hitting him with gunfire. He then collapses to the ground.

Warning: Content in the video may be difficult to watch. Viewer discretion advised.

A portion of bodycam video released by the department shows the officers approach Adams to render medical assistance. In the video, one officer says to Adams, “Hey bro, you’re gonna be OK, man. Hey, hey, you’re gonna be OK. Stay with me, OK?”

The officers eventually carry Adams to an ambulance.

Adams, of San Bernardino, was transported to a local hospital where he died, police said.

Police have not released the names of the officers involved or identified their race.

According to a cut, narrated video released Tuesday by San Bernardino Police Chief Darren Goodman, the officers shot Adams because he failed to comply with their commands and continued to hold the gun as he tried to duck down between two parked cars.

The officers were fully uniformed, Goodman said in the video.

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Goodman said both officers feared Adams was going to take cover and shoot at them.

“Officers briefly chased Adams. But seeing that he had no outlet, they believed he intended to use the vehicle as cover to shoot at them,” Goodman said in the video. “The officers saw Adams look over his left shoulder, with the gun still in his right hand. Fearing that bystanders’ or the officers’ lives were in danger, one of the officers fired his gun, striking Adams.”

The shooting comes on the heels of police in Akron, Ohio, firing more than 60 rounds at Jayland Walker, a 25-year-old Black man also fleeing from police when shot.

Walker’s death last month sparked protests nationwide.

Civil rights lawyer Ben Crump and Attorney Bradley Gage, who represent Adams’ family, released the following statement to USA TODAY Wednesday:

“It is unbelievable that another Black family has to bury their child due to police shooting first and asking questions later.  Robert appeared to be simply walking around the parking lot when officers exited their unmarked vehicle firing their weapons at him immediately. Robert never even had a chance to explain himself. We demand the San Bernardino Police Department to release all available information and body camera footage from this incident to the family and public so the family can get answers as to what happened to their loved one in his final moments.”

Crump also called the shooting a “horrific execution,” on Twitter.

Adams’s family said he probably did not know they were officers when they arrived. His mother, Tamika Deavila King, told the Guardian Tuesday night: “A part of me is gone now, and I can’t ever get it back. I want criminal prosecution and I want justice and I never want another mother to have to bear this pain. It hurts so bad.”

Natalie Neysa Alund covers trending news for USA TODAY. Reach her at and follow her on Twitter @nataliealund.