Craig Sumner Elliott, a 68-year-old man from Southern California, has been charged with felony voluntary manslaughter for the fatal shooting of a homeless man, as stated by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
The incident occurred on September 28 in Garden Grove, California, while Elliott was jogging with two dogs and a pushcart. According to the DA’s statement, Elliott confronted Antonio Garcia Avalos, 40, who was asleep on the sidewalk and obstructing his path. A confrontation ensued after Elliott nudged Avalos with his pushcart, leading Avalos to throw a shoe at Elliott. In response, Elliott is accused of ducking, retrieving a gun from his pushcart, and firing three shots, subsequently recording Avalos.
Garden Grove Police responded to the scene, located approximately one mile west of Disneyland. Avalos was transported to a hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries.
Elliott was arrested on Friday by Garden Grove police, based on a warrant issued by the DA’s office. He was released after posting a $100,000 bail. The charges against Elliott include a felony enhancement of personal use of a firearm, which could increase his sentence if convicted.
Prosecutors noted that Elliott had an active “concealed carry” permit at the time of the incident. Following a Supreme Court ruling last year, which struck down a provision in California’s concealed carry law requiring applicants to state a valid reason for their application, police and sheriff’s departments have been responsible for issuing these permits.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department, identified as the issuer of Elliott’s permit, has not yet commented on the case. It is currently unclear whether Elliott has obtained legal counsel.
If convicted, Elliott faces a potential sentence of up to 21 years in state prison. Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer emphasized the importance of the case, stating, “This case is a stark reminder that taking the law into your own hands is never the answer and that there are consequences for your actions.”