Mom to sue after son is shot dead by police on soccer field

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. --  Two days after her son was killed by police, Angela Hernandez was back at the scene of the shooting with her attorney filing a wrongful death claim against the Huntington Beach Police Department, CBS Los Angeles reports.

Investigators say Steven Schiltz was killed by police during soccer practice at the Huntington Beach Sports Complex around 7:30 p.m. Thursday as dozens of children and parents watched in horror.

The 29-year-old man, armed with a baseball bat and a broken bottle, was charging towards a crowd, when two officers shot and killed him under the bleachers, according to witnesses.

Police received “multiple calls of a man armed with a bat and a broken bottle chasing children and other people around the sports fields while sporting events were taking place,” according to Officer Jennifer Marlatt.

Hernandez doesn’t believe her son went on a rampage in the city, attorney Michael Guisti said.

“She’s pretty heartbroken,” the lawyer told the Associated Press. “The story that he’s threatening people, or running away, that he was any sort of danger, she said that doesn’t make any sense compared to the guy she knows and his personality.”

Guisti planned to file a claim with the city next week and expects it to be denied, which would clear the way for a lawsuit.

Tom Hester, who has known Schiltz for three years on the streets, said Schiltz recently talked about suicide. “He seemed like he was having mental problems. He had a bad alcohol problem,” Hester told CBS Los Angeles.

“I always had great hope for my son, but my hope died when he died,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez was granted a temporary restraining order against her son in February of 2013. The court order also forced Schiltz to move out of the house, according to court records.


Angela Hernandez, whose son was shot and killed by police in Huntington Beach, California

CBS Los Angeles

His mother said her son has suffered from mental illness since he was a kid.

Norman Harboldt, who had hired Schiltz to help build sheds on occasions, said he had never seen the violent side of Schiltz.

“I can’t believe that was him because I’ve never seen him do anything like that. I’ve never seen him get crazy like that,” Harboldt added.

“Steven will threaten his family members with knives, baseball bats, pool sticks, pool balls, chairs and basically anything he can get his hands on,” his mother said in the restraining order application.

“Steven Anthony Schiltz, my son, harassed me and threatened his family for hours at no end of stopping,” she continued in the restraining order application. “He continues to drink alcohol heavily and possible illegal drugs too. However, he also has a medical marijuana license, which he frequently consumes on a daily basis. As a family we have tried numerous options to help him with his addictions and abuses, but he declines our advice and/or suggestions. We are now at the point of seeking police protection because his abuses are escalating to levels that we can no longer accept or handle.”