The family of a Tustin man who was shot and killed by police last week say he was unarmed and suffering from depression and an anxiety attack when they called for help, an attorney for the family said.
Tustin police received a call about a family disturbance at an apartment about 11:30 a.m. Feb. 10. When they arrived, police spokesman Sgt. Andy Birozy said, they were "immediately confronted with an adult male armed with a knife” -- later identified as Robert Villa, 23. The knife was recovered at the scene.
Humberto Guizar, the family's attorney, said Villa, who had a history of anxiety and depression, had been arguing with his family, who called police to help calm him down. When the officers arrived, Villa came out of the apartment, “he stretched out his arms…he was flailing his arms, clearly showing them he was unarmed,” Guizar said.
Villa’s father and two other witnesses saw the shooting, he said.
Villa did have a knife inside the home, Guizar said, “but there was no knife when he went outside.”
Birozy said the investigation is ongoing. He declined to say how many officers arrived at the apartment or how many were involved in the shooting.
He also declined to give the names of the officers involved, citing their safety and the safety of their families.
On Tuesday, Villa's family and several supporters went to Tustin City Hall to demand answers during a City Council meeting.
The parents “called for help. They didn’t call for someone to come kill their son,” Guizar said.
As is routine in officer-involved shootings, the Orange County district attorney's office is investigating.