[symple_googlemap title=”Castaic shooting” location=”31900 block of Castaic Road, Castaic, CA” height=”300″ zoom=”16″]

Amid calls for an independent investigation, sheriff’s officials Wednesday released the name of a 51-year-old homeless man killed in deputy-involved shooting in Castaic.

The suspect — identified as William Bowers — died at the scene of the shooting, which occurred about 9 p.m. Tuesday in the 31500 block of Castaic Road, said Deputy Mike Barraza of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau.

According to the sheriff’s department, deputies from the Santa Clarita Station tried to stop Bowers, who was riding a bicycle, after recognizing him from previous interactions and knowing that he was on probation for a narcotic violation.

“When the suspect fled on foot, deputies followed him and eventually made contact with him,” Barraza said. “It was at this time that a deputy- involved shooting occurred.”

Bowers was struck in the upper body and died at the scene.

One witness told reporters that Bowers — who was known as Bill and wasn’t armed — was shot without any warning, and his hands were at his sides. She said deputies were following Bowers, and one drove ahead of him while another one trailed from behind. The deputy in front got out of the vehicle and shot the man, the witness said.

“It was wrong,” the witness said, suggesting that deputies could have used a Taser to stop him.

Another witness said Bowers was shot after he got off his bike and started running.

Castaic Road between Lake Hughes and Parker roads was closed for several hours to accommodate the investigation, but the road was reopened this morning, according to the sheriff’s department.

A group of civil rights activists gathered outside sheriff’s headquarters in downtown Los Angeles this afternoon, asking for a meeting

—City News Service

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