A 73-year-old Latino man, Francisco Serna, was shot and killed by police in Bakersfield, California on Monday, December 12.
The Bakersfield police had received a 911 call from a resident of Serna's neighborhood, saying that a man had a gun.
The person who reported the man identified Serna to the officers when they arrived at the scene. Serna had been in the neighbor's driveway, across the street from his home, when he was killed.
In a press conference held by the police department's new chief, Lyle Martin, it was confirmed that officer Reagan Selman, who had been with the Bakersfield police department since July 2015, fired seven rounds at Serna — ultimately killing him.
It was also confirmed that Serna was not armed — he was carrying a crucifix.
His daughter, Laura Serna, explained to TIME that her father thought he was going to die of old age, which may have been why he was carrying a crucifix with him.
"He was just carrying that around. I don’t know if it was like for his security. They could have mistaken that for a weapon,” she said. Laura also added that he was not heavily religious but had begun carrying the crucifix a week prior to his death as he was mourning "loved ones who have died."
Bakersfield Now reports that Serna "was carrying a dark-colored simulated wooden crucifix."
“My dad did not own a gun. He was a 73-year-old retired grandpa, just living life.”
"He should have been surrounded by family at old age, not surrounded by bullets,” Francisco Serna's son, Rogelio Serna, expressed to the Los Angeles Times.
Francisco Serna had been suffering from dementia, took medication, and oftentimes went for a walk at night because he could not go to sleep.
Rogelio told NBC News that his father had trouble sleeping so he would walk around the block to help tire himself out.
He had been showing signs of dementia since 2015 but the symptoms escalated in recent months. "We had been taking him to the doctor almost two, three days a week this last month," Laura said.