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Toxicology Report
Confirms Pride Dancer on Drugs When Shot

Toxicology Report
Confirms Pride Dancer on Drugs When Shot

The dancer who was shot to death during San Diego Pride by harbor police attempting to pull him out of San Diego Bay had illegal narcotics, including methamphetamine, in his system, a toxicology report revealed Tuesday.

Steven Hirschfield, 37, jumped from a Hornblower Cruises ship where he had been performing as a dancer as part of pride weekend, according to TheSan Diego Union-Tribune. According to reports, after being rescued from the bay, Hirschfield began beating an officer with the officer's Taser gun. Another officer then fatally shot him in the back.

According to San Diego's ABC affiliate, traces of ketamine -- a veterinary tranquilizer commonly used as a date rape drug -- and doxylamine, a sedative-antihistamine, were in his bloodstream when he was shot July 19.

According to the Union-Tribune, harbor police were called at just after 11 p.m. on Saturday, July 19, with report of a man overboard. When Hornblower Cruises launched a small rescue boat, Hirschfield refused attempts to get him on board, Hornblower general manager Jim Unger told the paper at the time. "He refused," Unger said. "He didn't want anybody near him."

According to reports, Hornblower rescue workers threw Hirschfield a flotation device and stayed near him until harbor police arrived.

When the police finally got Hirschfield on board their boat, he began to fight with them, grabbing officer Wayne Schmidt's Taser gun and beating him in the face with it, according to the police report. He then reached for the officer's gun, and Schmidt's partner, officer Clyde Williams, shot Hirschfield once.

Earlier this month Hirschfield's parents filed a $20 million lawsuit against Williams and the harbor police, alleging the shooting may have stemmed from "antigay sentiment," calling the violence unjustified.

The Hirschfields' lawyer, Brian Claypool, did not return a call for comment. In previous statements he has branded the shooting a "needless and unjustified execution" by a "renegade officer" and has disputed the drug allegations. (The Advocate)

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