‘Street Person’ Kills Officer With His Own Revolver
A “street person” on Friday grabbed a policeman’s pistol and killed him during a struggle in front of a downtown doughnut shop, and then wounded a second officer before other police fatally shot him, authorities said.
The wounded officer, shot twice, was in critical condition at San Jose Medical Center, where hospital personnel issued a plea for blood donors, said Sgt. Bud Davis, police spokesman.
The gunman died of multiple gunshot wounds at 12:26 p.m. while on the operating table at the medical center, Davis said.
Veteran Police Officers
Names of the victims, 17- and 19-year department veterans, were withheld pending notification of relatives.
The noon incident occurred at 5th and Santa Clara streets when the officer stopped a man for questioning in the parking lot of a Winchell’s doughnut shop, Davis said.
“He (the suspect) was standing in front, you know, talking to himself, and the officer coming through (the parking lot) stopped to talk to him,” said Aubrey Johnson, who witnessed the incident from inside the doughnut shop.
The suspect began struggling with the officer, grabbing the police pistol from its holster. He discharged the weapon several times during a chase around a parked pickup truck, Johnson said.
Finally, the policeman was fatally shot when he stopped to radio for help, Johnson said, and then the gunman turned the weapon on a second officer coming across the street, wounding him.
“I was sitting across the street in a cafe with about 10 other people,” said Mike Fletcher, who said that he was an old friend of the dead gunman, whom he identified only as “Randy.”
“A guy came in and said, ‘Someone’s out there with a gun!’ ” Fletcher said. “I saw Randy fall as he was running. He was shot four times.”
Fletcher said he’d talked to Randy earlier in the day and the man was acting strange. “He had a lot of personal problems. He was in a trance, in a daze.”
Davis said police investigators were unsure why the officer had stopped the man.
“They were talking and a fight ensued,” the police sergeant said. “The suspect got the officer’s gun and shot and killed him. A second officer approached and he was shot. Other officers called to the scene arrived and shot the suspect.”