A San Diego Police officer fatally shot a 39-year-old man who charged police with a curtain rod in his hands Monday during a predawn disturbance in a Mountain View-area neighborhood, authorities reported.
The events that led to the deadly law enforcement encounter began shortly before 4:30 a.m., when a resident made an emergency call to report of acts of vandalism occurring at a home in the 300 block of South Pardee Street, just east of state Route 15 and north of Ocean View Boulevard, according to San Diego police.
Other 911 callers then began reporting a violent disturbance involving a person with a makeshift weapon at the same residence.
“The residents described the man’s behavior as paranoid and said he ripped a metal curtain rod from the window and began breaking windows and other objects in the home. … A neighbor also heard the commotion and called 911, reporting (that) it sounded like someone was being tortured,” Lt. Matt Dobbs said.
Officers responding to the calls parked a short distance away from the home where the violence was occurring to “gather the necessary resources to safely deal with the situation,” including backup personnel, a service dog and other non-lethal compliance tools, Dobbs said.
As officers approached the residence a short time later, they saw a man inside through a front window, yelling and breaking things. The officers gave him repeated directions to exit the home peacefully but got no response, the lieutenant said.
As police began taking positions of cover in preparation for trying to negotiate with the man and de-escalate the situation, he crawled through a broken window and walked to a front gate on the property. He then suddenly sprinted toward them, still clutching the metal pole, according to Dobbs.
“Fearing for their safety, one officer fired a beanbag (shotgun) round, one officer fired a Taser, and one officer fired several rounds from his service pistol,” the lieutenant said.
The man was struck by at least one bullet and collapsed to the ground, after which he was taken into custody.
Paramedics took the man to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His name was withheld pending family notification.
Investigators have determined that the man had been staying as a guest at the home where the fatal confrontation played out, Dobbs said.
Following an investigation of the case by the SDPD Homicide Unit and reviews by various oversight agencies, the District Attorney’s Office will determine whether the officer who fired on the man acted within the bounds of the law.
— Story updated at 5:03 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19, 2020.
— City News Service
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