Family says police shooting of an Ethiopian in LA suspicious


Zelalem Eshetu Ewnetu

ESAT News (April 18, 2017)

The lethal shooting of an Ethiopian by police in LA, California on Wednesday has been called suspicious by family and the Ethiopian community at large, who demanded justice to the bright young man whose life was taken so soon.

Zelalem Eshetu Ewnetu, 28, was sitting in his car when police, responding to a burglary, approached his car. According to police accounts, they smelt marijuana and asked Zelalem to exit his car. Police said Zelalem refused to exit his car and brandished a gun, at which point they shot him on the torso.

But according to the family, accounts by authorities and investigators  varies from that of the police. Investigators told the family that the gun was found in the backseat of the car. Photo of the vehicle in the aftermath of the shooting shows two bullet holes on the back windshield. The family said details of the incident by police was “questionable.”

A 4.0 student in high school in Ethiopia, Zelalem came to the U.S. 8 years ago on a scholarship to the University of Idaho and graduated with honors in mechanical and nuclear engineering.

He worked as an engineer for the California Public Utilities Commission.