Unarmed 73-year-old man shot and killed by police suffered from dementia

73-year-old Francisco Serna is seen in a photo provided by Serna's family on Dec. 12, 2016. (KBAK/KBFX)

73-year old Francisco Serna is dead after being shot by a Bakersfield Police officer early Monday morning in southwest Bakersfield.

Police confirmed to Eyewitness News Tuesday morning that Serna was unarmed, and no guns were found at the scene of the shooting.

The incident happened just after 12:30 a.m. on Silver Birch Avenue in Bakersfield's Silver Creek community.

Police said they were called to the 7900 block of Silver Birch Ave. after a report of a man brandishing a handgun.

Police said when officers arrived on scene they found a Serna in a neighbors driveway.

"As some point during that contact an officer fired several rounds striking the individual," BPD Spokesperson, Sgt. Gary Carruesco said.

No officers were hurt. Police said the officer who killed Serna is currently on administrative leave as this investigation is still ongoing. It is unclear why the officer shot Serna.

Family tells Eyewitness News that Serna lived with his wife and one of their daughters. Another son lives a few blocks away and rushed to the scene when he heard the news.

Family members of the decedent said Serna suffered from the early stages of dementia. Serna's son said his father showed signs of it since 2015, and his symptoms recently increased.

Family said Serna often went on walks when he had trouble sleeping to make himself tired before bed.

According to family, Serna did not own any guns, and was not carrying one at the time he was shot.

Police say the investigation into the incident is ongoing.

The family is holding a candlelight vigil Tuesday night at 6 p.m. outside of Serna's home on Silver Birch Ave.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off