A homeless man shot dead by the LAPD stole a Frenchman's identity more than 15 years ago and was wanted for violating terms of a bank robbery conviction, officials said last night.
Charley Saturmin Robinet, 39, was killed on Los Angeles' impoverished Skid Row when he allegedly tried to grab the holstered pistol of an officer while police arrested him on Sunday.
The shooting was caught by an onlooker on a video that went viral, leading to protests and calls by civil rights activists for a special police commission hearing on the use of force.
Originally thought to be French, officials now say Robinet stole the identity of a Frenchman with the same name and birth date to apply for a French passport in the 1990s, when he came to the U.S. to pursue an acting career.
His true identity remains unknown, said Axel Cruau, the consul general for France in Los Angeles.
According to the consulate's account, Robinet was identified as a French national in 2000 when robbed a Wells Fargo branch in Thousand Oaks, some 40 miles west of downtown Los Angeles, and pistol-whipped an employee.