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Schiltz’s mother got the restraining order after writing in court documents that her son “swings his baseball bat around threatening to physically hurt us.”
Two police officers opened fire, killing Schiltz. As screams filled the air and children climbed fences to escape, Schiltz moved toward a woman on the bleachers who apparently was frozen with fear.
Norman Harboldt, who builds sheds and hired Schiltz for some jobs, said he didn’t know him well but recalled how Schiltz once tracked down a bicycle someone had stolen from his yard and returned it.
“To me, it was excessive force,” Hernandez told the AP. He would never go after kids.” “He was good-hearted.
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Mom of man shot by 2 Huntington Beach police officers on sports field says he was mentally unstable "What am I supposed to do?" @CBSLA pic.twitter.com/d7ZMavVWv1
“He had a drinking problem, and when he drank he got real violent,” Hester said.
Schiltz was shot three times but was still moving toward the woman so the officers shot him three or four more times, Sanchez said.
“I started yelling to the girls to jump over the fence and we started tossing some girls over,” Sanchez said.
Huntington Beach police said at 7:20 p.m. Police estimated at least 200 people were there at the time. Thursday officers responded to reports of a man wielding a baseball bat and broken bottle and chasing children at a park. The 45-acre facility has eight softball fields and seven soccer fields, as well as batting cages and playgrounds.
At times, he lived on the streets, said Tom Hester, a homeless friend who said he saw Schiltz bicycling to the park just before the violence. Schiltz was known to friends as “Steve-o” and was a baseball fan.
“I was looking around to see if I could find something to grab onto, to protect myself,” he said. After getting the girls over, the only thing I could do was put my hands out and hopefully that would delay him or get him to come to me instead of the girls.” “I didn’t really have anything.
As the kids were scrambling over the fence, Sanchez said Schiltz was stumbling around when a police officer arrived with gun drawn.
Huntington Beach police confirmed both officers opened fire and said the Orange County Sheriff’s Department is investigating and seeking to interview more witnesses.
Court records show she took out a restraining order against him in 2013 and she said he threatened relatives with knives, baseball bats, pool sticks and chairs. Schiltz’s mother, Angela Hernandez, told KCBS-TV that her son had drug issues and was in a psychiatric ward last year.
Police said Schiltz had been to the park before but it was unclear why he was there Thursday.
Sanchez said two offers yelled to Schiltz to “drop it, drop it,” and when he moved toward the woman they opened fire.
He continued toward Sanchez’s team and another team of 11-year-old boys. As the bizarre scene unfolded, Sanchez said two adult soccer players tried to topple a 6-by-8-foot soccer goal onto Schiltz to stop him.
— Jose Sanchez was coaching his soccer team of 13-year-old girls when a wild-eyed man began chasing children with what looked like a broken wine bottle at a California sports complex. HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif.
— JASMINE VIEL (@jasmineviel) March 10, 2017
Schiltz ran toward a set of bleachers, prompting two parents and their children to make a run for it while a woman remained behind. A parent then showed up with some sort of stick and chased Schiltz away from the area where the children were, Sanchez said.
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“He had a pretty good heart,” Harboldt said.
Police say 200 people were at the complex when the man reportedly carrying a bat and broken bottle was shot by two officers. The mother told KCBS-TV on Thursday that she had struggled with her son’s drug abuse issues and sought help for him after he was held in a psych ward last year. The Huntington Beach Central Park Sports Complex is seen empty in Huntington Beach, Calif., Friday, March 10, 2017. Thursday, March 8. (AP Photo/Amy Taxin) A man was shot and killed by police officers shortly before 7:30 p.m.
… “He was going toward her, and you could see he was about to start swinging. “I feel like the cops tried not to shoot him and when they did it was because they had to,” Sanchez told The Associated Press. One more second and he would have struck her.”
People ran as the bloodied and shirtless man, later identified as 29-year-old Steven Schiltz, followed an adult soccer player over a 3-foot barrier and onto the field where the children were practicing Thursday night, Sanchez said.
In 2015, his mother had the restraining order dismissed. Later that year, Schiltz pleaded guilty to threatening to kill someone and breaking a utility line, court records show.
She accused the police of overreacting. But she said she spoke to him hours before the shooting and he sounded fine.
Schiltz drank heavily and used and sold marijuana, she wrote. He stole from relatives, made holes in walls and threatened to kill himself and his family, she said.