Homeless LA man killed reaching for cop’s gun was a convicted bank robber in US illegally

More details are emerging of the homeless man shot and killed Sunday on Skid Row by Los Angeles police.

As race provocateurs and anti-police protesters rally around the man who battled with police, hoping to instill new life into a stale movement, the Los Angeles Times reported that the dead man was an illegal immigrant who had been convicted of robbing a bank.

LA Protest
Photo Credit EPA/Paul Buck

(The man, who went by the name “Africa,” was released from federal prison in May after serving 14 years.)

According to the newspaper, the French consulate said the man identified as Charley Saturmin Robinet stole another man’s identity and obtained a French passport to come to the U.S. in the late-1990s.

“He fooled a lot of people, including us, years ago,” French consul general Axel Cruau told The Times.

According to Cruau, the real Charley Saturmin Robinet “is alive and in France.”

The man was convicted of robbing a Wells Fargo Bank in Ventura County in 2000, with court documents showing that authorities said he pistol-whipped a teller for not having a key to access the vault.

Cruau told The Times that French officials learned of the identity theft after the conviction and notified U.S. officials that Robinet was not the man’s real name — he said he did not know what happened after that.

Los Angeles police were captured on videotape shooting the man Sunday after he began fighting with them. Police were responding to a robbery call. An officer can be heard on the video seemingly yelling: “Gun! Gun! He’s got my gun.”

Police say they have “compelling” evidence that the man was reaching for an officer’s gun moments before the fatal shots were fired.


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