SAN DIEGO — Authorities Tuesday publicly identified three patrol officers and a man they fatally shot when he allegedly advanced on them on a Nestor-area street with a knife in his hand over the Memorial Day weekend.
San Diego police Officers Michael Martinez, Samuel Rodriguez and William Torres opened fire on 42-year-old Raul Rivera in the area of Hollister Street and Tocayo Avenue late Sunday evening, SDPD Lt. Anthony Dupree said.
The events that led to the shooting began shortly before 11 p.m., when a 911 caller reported that a pedestrian carrying a knife was pacing around in the neighborhood near Imperial Beach, walking into traffic lanes in the path of oncoming vehicles.
By the time police arrived in the area, Border Patrol agents had been flagged down by an onlooker and were trying in vain to get the man, later identified as Rivera, to disarm himself, Dupree said.
When he refused to follow the personnel’s orders, the border agents and police officers drew their service firearms while continuing to try to persuade him to comply, the lieutenant said.
After officers shot him with a beanbag-firing gun and an electric stun gun in a futile attempt to subdue him, Rivera allegedly advanced on the officers with the knife pointed at them.
“Fearing for their safety, three officers fired their weapons (Rivera). striking him numerous times,” Dupree said.
Rivera, a San Diego resident, died before medics could take him to a hospital.
Homicide detectives were called in to investigate the case, as is protocol in instances of officer-involved shootings.
Torres has been with the SDPD for a one year, Martinez for two and Rodriguez for six. All three are assigned to the department’s Southern Division.