A Santa Rosa police officer shot and killed a man who authorities say was wielding a large knife inside his home early Saturday morning and advancing toward officers with the weapon in hand, ignoring their commands. He was shot after officers’ attempts to subdue and detain him — with a Taser and pepper spray — failed, authorities said.
The shooting occurred 20 minutes after a 5:58 a.m. 911 call was made — the first of two placed by fellow residents of the home — reporting a man was “acting crazy” and was armed with a knife, police said.
One of the callers had suffered a wound — “somewhere between” a laceration and a stab wound, said Sgt. Spencer Crum of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office, which is handling the investigation into the shooting.
The first Santa Rosa officer arrived at the house on the 2400 block of West Steele Lane at 6:03 a.m., with two other officers arriving minutes later, Crum said.
Officers encountered the man hiding beneath a bed about 6:12 a.m., when they requested backup because he was armed with a knife, according to police logs cited by Crum.
“(The officers) negotiated with him, and we’re told that he spoke English, and they did have a conversation,” Crum said.
Officers ordered the man, who Crum said was Latino, to surrender and drop the knife, but he ignored them, according to a written statement released by the Santa Rosa Police Department on Saturday afternoon
Officers then deployed a Taser and pepper spray, Crum said, but the nonlethal techniques didn’t work, and the man continued to advance on officers, according to police.
By 6:18 a.m., officers at the scene reported shots had been fired.
“There were multiple shots, but we don’t know exactly how many yet,” Crum said. Only one officer fired, Crum said, but at least three officers were in the home when the shooting occurred.
Achilles Eigenman, 52, lives in a home on Iroquois Street, directly behind the house involved in the shooting.
He said he heard what might have been the gunshots.
“Like ‘pop-pop-pop, pop,” he said. “It was a totally random sound, too. It was something I’d never heard around here.”
Officers and medical personnel on scene attempted to aid the wounded man, but he was pronounced dead at the scene. His name and age were not released.
As the incident was unfolding, officers were evacuating the home’s many residents through a bedroom window of the single-story home, police and sheriff’s officials said. Crum said multiple families lived in the home, and that at least two children were present on the property at the time.
The person with the knife wound was taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital by ambulance, Crum said. Her condition was unknown.
Crum said he wasn’t sure Saturday evening how many times the Taser was used or for how long because that data hadn’t been downloaded from the device yet.
The officers involved were wearing body cameras, which recorded the incident, but police said they would not release the video footage, citing a pending investigation.