SAN DIEGO — Three police officers in the Nestor community of San Diego shot dead a knife-wielding 42-year-old man, who had also drawn the attention of some U.S. Border Patrol agents, a police lieutenant said Monday.
Police received a call at 10:52 p.m. Sunday about a man with a knife at Hollister Street and Tocayo Avenue who was walking back and forth into the street and into traffic, San Diego Police Lt. Anthony Dupree said.
“Upon arrival at the location, the first officer located the male, who was being contacted by Border Patrol agents,” Dupree said. “The Border Patrol agents were flagged down by a citizen regarding the male. The male had a knife in his hand and did not comply with commands to drop the knife.”
Additional San Diego police officers arrived at the scene and the officers as well the Border Patrol agents drew their weapons while repeatedly asking the man to drop the knife. They eventually used bean bags and tasers that were ineffective, he said, adding that additional commands to drop the knife were not heeded.
“The subject advanced on the officers with the knife pointed at them,” he said. “Fearing for their safety, three officers fired their weapons at the male striking him numerous times.”
Paramedics pronounced the man dead at the scene and San Diego police homicide detectives were called to the scene and investigating the incident, he said.
The involved officers are a one-year veteran, a two-year veteran and a six-year veteran of the San Diego Police Department, Dupree said.
While some people are questioning whether the shooting was justified, former El Cajon police officer and criminal justice expert Kevin LaChapelle argues video often doesn’t tell the whole story.
“When I put my hat on as a citizen, it’s a little shocking,” he said. “I’m like, oh my gosh, they fired a lot of rounds and he’s already going down … But when I put my law enforcement hat on and I try to really go through it, you begin to see the dynamics are a little bit different … They tried beanbags, they tried a Taser and I will tell you if somebody’s not going down with a Taser or a beanbag, you’ve got an issue on your hands.”
He says officers have to make decisions in split seconds and not only have to worry about their safety but the public’s as well.
“They have to realize that officers are human and it sounds cliche, but the bottom line is they want to go home to their family and they shouldn’t have to go home maimed because they can’t meet force that somebody is presenting them with — a deadly force like a knife,” he said.