73-year-old unarmed man shot, killed by Bakersfield police

BAKERSFIELD, CALIFORNIA - An unarmed 73-year-old whose family says suffered from dementia was shot and killed by police in Bakersfield early Monday morning.

There are more questions than answers as to why a Bakersfield police officer shot Francisco Serna in a neighbor's driveway.

"I don't know what led the police to believe he had a gun or something," said Francisco's son Frank Serna.

Frank said his father was showing early signs of dementia and was on medication. He said the 73-year-old would take walks around the neighborhood frequently.

"Sometimes he can't sleep so he takes his little walk to get him tired and help him sleep," Frank said.

Police said around 12:30 a.m. officers received a call about a man who was carrying a gun.

"Several officers arrived on scene. They made contact with a man in that block," Police Sgt. Gary Carruesco said.

Police said Francisco was not complying with their requests.

"One officer fired several shots at the person. That person was struck and was pronounced dead at the scene," Carruesco said.

But when officers approached the body, they could not find a weapon.

The Police Department has not said why the officer fired or how many shots were fired, but the family said the man has never owned a weapon.

"I don't know what to think, you know? My dad, you know -- it's kind of hard," Frank said.

The officer involved in the shooting has been placed on routine administrative leave as the investigation continues.

This report was filed by Alex Fisher of NBC News.


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