salinas-shooting

A man is dead in Salinas, California, after attacking a family in their home and then getting into a confrontation with police as he attempted to leave the scene on foot. Two officers attempted to arrest the man, but after an attempt to use a taser on him had no effect and he pulled a pair of garden shears as a weapon, the inevitable happened.

The officers had responded to reports from a resident of Elkington Avenue at 12:14 p.m. that a man was trying to break into their home and was threatening to kill them, police said.

The resident told police that the man was armed with scissors and had gone inside the home and also tried to kill the victim’s dog and exposed his genitals while making sexually explicit comments.

Officers found the suspect walking on Elkington Avenue and noticed he had a large pair of gardening shears in his backpack, police said.

Officers demanded he get onto the ground but the man ignored the commands.

Police said the officers tried to use a Taser on the man but it was ineffective and he continued walking away, eventually pulling the gardening shears from his backpack and swinging them toward the officers.

Fearing being slashed or stabbed, police said, the two officers fired their guns at the man and he was pronounced dead on the street.

Residents of the area witnessed the attack and one of them filmed the following cell phone video that captures the shooting(more of less) in its entirety.

The video is not safe for work, due to a combination of graphic violence and the profanity-laced commentary of the woman filming the attack that begins shortly after the shooting (from 1:12 on she simply rants).

Frankly, I can’t see what the police could have handled this situation much differently. The suspect was acting erratically, and refused to surrender. At one point he started coming at the officers, and they retreated. The video isn’t of decent enough quality to tell when they attempted to use the taser on the suspect shows that they used the taser just after the video started (you can hear the “crack” as it discharged, then the “buzz”), but once he produced a weapon and apparently attempted to come at the officers as they approached the street corner, I fear that they were out of options and had little choice but to fire at point-blank range.

[Updated to note that you can indeed hear when the taser fired.]