REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (BCN) - A man who Redwood City police say was suicidal has died of his injuries after being shot by a police officer Monday morning. According to police, the man ran at them with a butcher knife.
Officers responded at 8:47 a.m. to a 911 call in the 400 block of Lincoln Avenue from a woman who said that her husband was trying to kill himself by cutting his throat and wrists, according to police.
Two officers arrived to find the woman in the front yard of the home covered in blood and she directed them to the backyard, but along the side yard they encountered the 33-year-old man with the knife, police said.
Neighbors said they could hear the man's wife screaming.
"She's like, 'Help me! Help me! I need help!' and by the time I was getting out of the car, the cops were rushing from both sides of the street," said Danaisha Banks, a witness.
The two officers attempted to get the man to drop the knife but he refused and ran at the officers. One used a Taser stun gun to try to immobilize him but it did not work so the other officer, a 20-year veteran of the department, shot him with his firearm, police said.
Victoria Figueroa, another witness, said she heard the gunshots.
"It was four shots that I heard," she said.
The man, whose name has not been released, was taken to a hospital where he later died.
Redwood City Police Chief Dan Mulholland said the officers involved had received crisis intervention training, but he wasn't sure if they had time to use those tools.
"If you can deescalate the situation, try to find ways of calming the person. But again this happened very quickly in a narrow portion on the side of the house with a man who had already caused very extensive injuries to himself," he said.
Inside the house, police found a second crime scene. The wife appeared slightly injured. Two small children, a three-year-old and another about three-days-old, did not appear to be harmed.
According to police, the man had been spiraling since Saturday and had battled mental health problems for at least a decade. The man was allegedly on medication and his family had already scheduled an appointment to get him help.
The officers involved have been placed on paid administrative leave. The San Mateo County district attorney's office will take over the investigation.
The San Mateo County District Attorney's Office is investigating the shooting and is asking anyone with information about it to call (650) 363-4636.
For more information on suicide prevention in San Mateo County, check here.
National Suicide Prevention line: 1(800) 273-TALK
and crisis text line:
Text “START” to 741741.
KTVU's Ann Rubin contributed to this story