REDWOOD CITY (BCN)-- Investigators say Edward Eichen, the man who shot himself in the
head in a Redwood City business park Tuesday, was nearly simultaneously shot in the chest by a police officer when his own gun went off.
"Our belief is that the two weapons were discharged at about the same time," San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.
It's unclear, however, whether the shot that struck Eichen might have caused him to pull the trigger.
"That would be very unusual," Wagstaffe said. "We don't know. The shots were fired at just about the same time."
Eichen was raising his gun when the officer reacted, firing a single shot, but that occurred just before Eichen put the gun in his mouth, according to Wagstaffe.
"When the officer made the decision to shoot, the gun was coming up," Wagstaffe said.
Investigators are still waiting for the coroner's report, but "we do know the shot to the head would've been fatal," Wagstaffe said.
It was initially unclear in the hours after the shooting whether the officer's round had even struck Eichen, but after the crime scene had been documented they were able to move his body and that's when they found a
second gunshot wound, according to Wagstaffe.
Police were called to the 400 block of Penobscot Drive around 2:15 p.m. Tuesday by a woman who said that her ex-husband was chasing her around the parking lot at her place of business.
She had a restraining order against Eichen and she refused to speak with him, but he went back to his vehicle and retrieved a handgun, according to police.
Eichen fired at least one shot before officers arrived, and fled on foot when they reached the scene. Police pursued him and tried to persuade him to put his gun down, but he brandished his weapon and shots were fired.
After that, the Redwood City Police Department waited hours to disclose that one of their officers had fired their weapon at Eichen.
The department first reported the incident on Twitter at 2:58 p.m., saying only that they were investigating a shooting near the intersection of Penobscot and Saginaw drives.
They revealed Eichen's death in a Tweet at 3:28 p.m., saying only that "a male subject is deceased at this time."
Hours later, just before 6 p.m., they released a statement online confirming that one of their officers had opened fire.
"Officers attempted to persuade the subject to put the gun down, however he did not comply, and shot himself in the head," police said in a statement. "At one point during the encounter, the subject brandished the gun
at nearby officers, prompting one officer to fire a single shot at the subject in defense of his own life, and the safety of others."
The officer who shot Eichen has been placed on paid administrative leave while the incident remains under investigation.
Investigators with the district attorney's office are still waiting for the coroner's report, as well as information from toxicology and forensic testing. They're also trying to determine what motivated Eichen to put a gun in his mouth, according to Wagstaffe.
"His family's been very cooperative with us," Wagstaffe said.
The remainder of the investigation is expected to be complete within eight to 10 weeks.