Man shot by police while allegedly striking mom with ax expected to survive

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A man who allegedly struck his mother with an ax and was shot by two officers at a quiet South San Jose neighborhood this morning is expected to survive, police said.

The 26-year-old man, who has not been identified, will be booked into Santa Clara County Jail on suspicion of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon, police said.

The man's mother was struck by the ax at least twice and suffered serious injuries not considered life-threatening, police Chief Eddie Garcia said during a news conference outside police headquarters this evening.

Officers had responded to a report of a traffic accident in the area of Lansing Drive around 7:15 a.m., Garcia said.

When officers responded to the scene they didn't find an accident but saw someone driving erratically in the area, Garcia said.

The officers also saw a woman fleeing a home calling for their attention while and a man behind her with a large ax on Lansing Avenue just east of Jarvis Avenue, Garcia said.

The officers called out commands at the suspect and one of them fired at him as he swung the ax at the woman, according to Garcia.

The shots had "little effect" on him as the woman was struck in the back by the ax, Garcia said.

Both officers "felt threatened" and fired rounds at the suspect, who ended up on the ground with the victim, according to Garcia.

One of the officers switched to a Taser and deployed it at the suspect, who was able to pull prongs from the device out of his body, Garcia said.

While the officer who used the Taser transitioned back to the gun, the suspect was able to get hold of the ax and struck the woman in her head, according to Garcia.

One of the officers fired at the suspect, who this time ended up on the ground and was taken into custody, Garcia said.

The suspect and victim were transported to a hospital for treatment, the chief said.

The officer who used a Taser and gun is a 24-year veteran with the department. The second officer has worked with San Jose police for three years, the chief said.

Both employees, who were not equipped with body-worn cameras, will be placed on paid administrative leave, which is routine in officer-involved shootings, Garcia said.

Two of the three officers that responded to the scene had crisis intervention training, which helps police handle incidents involving people with mental illness, according to Garcia.

The suspect had a history of mental illness and investigators are looking into whether he used drugs, the chief said.

The San Jose police homicide unit is investigating the officer-involved shooting, a third for the department this year, the chief said.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office is also looking into the incident. San Jose's independent police monitor and the department's internal affairs unit are monitoring the investigation, Garcia said.