Sacramento police shoot and kill a man who charged them with a knife

A man was fatally shot by two Sacramento police officers Monday morning after he acted “really crazy” and charged the offices with a knife, police said.

The man, who was in his 50s or 60s, was spotted about 9:25 a.m. waving a knife in the 1100 block of Lochbrae Road when police were called to investigate, according to Sacramento police Sgt. Bryce Heinlein.

Callers complained to a police dispatcher that the man was not making sense and was behaving irrationally.


When the first officer arrived on the scene, the man charged at him, prompting the officer to lock himself in his police cruiser. The officer called for backup and tried to leave the area, but the man walked around the police cruiser and blocked it with his body.

When two backup officers arrived, the man with a knife took off running. The officers began chasing him on foot, and one of them suffered a non-life-threatening injury to his lower body during the pursuit, according to police.

Heinlein said the man refused to comply with the officers’ commands and acted “really crazy.”

When the officers approached the man, he turned around and charged at them, Heinlein said. At that moment, both officers fired their weapons, striking the man.

The man was taken to an area hospital, where he died later Monday morning. The injured officer remained in the hospital for treatment.

The officers have been placed on paid administrative leave. The Sacramento Police Department, Sacramento County district attorney’s office and Office of Policing Accountability are investigating the shooting. Police recovered a knife at the scene, officials said.

Heinlein said the incident happened rapidly.

“This is a very quick evolving situation that occurred,” he said.

The officers were not wearing body cameras, but their police cruisers were equipped with dash cams, which filmed the incident. Officials were reviewing the video footage on Monday, Heinlein said.

So far, only 30 officers who work bike patrol in downtown Sacramento have been fitted with body cameras as part of a pilot program, he said.

Although body cameras haven’t been made available to all officers, the police department hopes to expand the program.

The shooting comes as police agencies around the country mourn the shooting deaths of five officers in Dallas, as well as seven other people who were injured during a Black Lives Matter protest march Thursday night.

Police said Micah Xavier Johnson, a 25-year-old Army veteran who served in Afghanistan, was the sole shooter, according to authorities. He was killed by a bomb-deploying police robot during a standoff with police.

It’s been a difficult time for police over the last week, Heinlein said, but the community has been supportive.

“Our officers are vigilant right now, probably more than normal,” he said.

The Police Department, he said, has been working to build a relationship with the community.

“We hope to keep that going,” he said.

The latest incident in Sacramento came amid growing outrage about police shootings involving minorities in the U.S.

On Tuesday, Alton Sterling was shot to death by police in Baton Rouge, La., and cellphone video of the incident went viral. On Wednesday, Philando Castile’s girlfriend live-streamed an encounter with a police officer in Falcon Heights, Minn., after Castile was shot to death by the officer during a traffic stop. That video, which showed a bloodied Castile slumped in the car, also went viral.

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2:49 p.m.: This article has been updated throughout with new details.

The first version of this post was published at 10:33 a.m.