A Hemet man has been identified in the deadly officer involved shooting that stemmed from a vehicle theft investigation earlier this week in San Jacinto.
Theodore Sazzmann, 53, died Oct. 18 at Hemet Valley Medical Center after he was shot when a police officer thought he was reaching for a weapon, according to sheriff's and coroner's reports.
Sazzmann was spotted by a deputy responding to a "suspicious person" call about 1:25 a.m. in San Jacinto. The officer found a vehicle in the 900 block of Hisse Drive that looked like it had been broken into, and heard another vehicle starting nearby.
The deputy, thinking the vehicle may have been involved in the suspected burglary, went to the vehicle and saw a man inside, sheriff's Deputy Albert Martinez said.
"The officer identified himself and instructed the male to show him his hands. The male failed to comply with the officer's instructions; instead he reached and grabbed a dark object from the center console," Martinez said. "The officer, believing the object to be a weapon and fearing for his safety. fired his duty weapon, striking the male."
Banning-Beaumont Patch asked the sheriff's department if the item did indeed turn out to be a weapon, however was told that information can not be disclosed at this time since this case is under investigation.
The officer who fired the weapon has been placed on paid administrative leave, as is standard operating procedure in these cases.