SANTA ANA, Calif. – A Garden Grove man has been charged with felony voluntary manslaughter for shooting and killing a homeless man he had just woken up for blocking the sidewalk while he was sleeping. The victim threw a shoe at the shooter seconds before the shooting. The incident was captured on video by the shooter.
Craig Sumner Elliott, 68, of Garden Grove has also been charged with one felony enhancement of personal use of a firearm. He faces a maximum sentence of 21 years in state prison if convicted on all charges.
On September 28, 2023, at around 3 p.m., Elliott was jogging with his two dogs while pushing a pushcart on a sidewalk in the 10400 block of Katella Avenue in the City of Garden Grove when he encountered 40-year-old Antonio Garcia Avalos who was sleeping in the middle of the sidewalk. Elliott is accused of using his pushcart to nudge Avalos in an attempt to wake him up to get around him. When Avalos woke up, he began yelling at Elliott to get away from him.
Elliott is accused of recording Avalos and grabbing a handgun from his pushcart. Elliott had an active concealed carry permit issued by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at the time of the shooting.
Video taken by Elliott captured Avalos standing up and throwing a shoe at Elliott, who ducks to avoid the shoe and shoots Avalos three times. Avalos later died from his injuries.
Elliott was arrested on a warrant on Friday, November 17, 2023 by the Garden Grove Police Department. He was released from custody after posting $100,000 bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned on December 15, 2023 at the Stephen K. Tamura Justice Center in Westminster in Department W12.
“This is a tragic set of circumstances that unfolded in the worst possible way over a minor inconvenience of a blocked sidewalk, and a man is dead as a result,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “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.”
Senior Deputy District Attorney Nick Thomo of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.