'Despondent' man with pitchfork fatally shot by Sacramento County sheriff's deputy

A Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy shot and killed a “despondent” man who advanced at him with a pitchfork Thursday morning, officials said.

A resident in a northern section of the county called police just before 10 a.m. and reported that the man, described only as a 56-year-old Sacramento resident, was “acting erratically and seemed despondent,” the Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.

Deputies pulled up to the 5300 block of President Avenue and reported the man had a knife, officials said. The man retreated to a garage, then reappeared — now with a large pitchfork — and began to advance, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

“The deputy ordered the suspect to drop the pitchfork numerous times, and the suspect refused as he continued advancing on the deputy’s position,” authorities said.

In fear for his life, the department said, the deputy shot the man once. The man was pronounced dead at the scene. The deputy who fired his weapon has been on the force for 14 years. No other information was immediately available about him or the dead man.

The sheriff’s homicide bureau and professional standards divisions will review the shooting, along with independent reviews by the district attorney’s office and inspector general, all of which is standard in use-of-force incidents.

joseph.serna@latimes.com

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