Police chief says suspect gave 'ominous laugh' at officers while charging them with weapon

A San Jose police officer shot a man Saturday after he allegedly tried igniting a fuel pump at an Arco gas station and charged at officers with a metal pipe, Police Chief Eddie Garcia said. 

San Jose resident Jose Delossantos, 32, was attempting to ignite "a wad of paper" placed at the mouth of a fuel pump at about 7:15 a.m. Saturday at the Arco gas station at 2375 Quimby Road in San Jose, Garcia told reporters at a news conference Monday. 

One officer told Delossantos to move away from the pump but he did not comply, Garcia said. A second officer arrived and moved to try to disable the pumps.

Both officers retrieved stun-bag shotguns from their vehicles to at first attempt non-lethal means of stopping Delossantos from igniting the paper stuffed into the fuel pump, Garcia said.

At that point, Delossantos apparently charged at the responding officers with a metal pipe raised over his head. 

The two officers, Isaac Cazarez and Michael Santana, retreated while the man charged at them, firing stun-bag rounds that reportedly "didn't have any affect," according to Garcia. "The altercation continued around the police vehicle, into the street and back to the gas station as the suspect continued swinging the metal pipe."

Santana switched to a Taser and fired it at Delossantos, but that too was ineffective, Garcia said. Santana then fell to the ground as Delossantos allegedly continued charging at Cazarez. 

Then Cazarez fired a bullet at Delossantos. 

"However, that shot did not appear to be effective as the suspect kept coming," Garcia said.

Then Santana fired his service weapon at Delossantos, which allegedly did not stop him. A third round from Cazarez dropped Delossantos.

Delossantos was transported alive and treated for his injuries at a hospital where he is expected to survive, Garcia said, before being booked into jail on suspicion of two counts of assault on a police officer with a deadly weapon and attempted arson.

Police said Delossantos is still recovering from his injuries in the hospital.

He apparently was on parole, after serving four years and two months of a nine-year sentence for a prior assault with a deadly weapon conviction.

He has prior convictions that include auto theft, carrying a concealed weapon, fighting in public, resisting arrest, hit-and-run with injury and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, Garcia said. 

Santana has eight months of experience as a police officer, and Cazarez has over a year of experience. Both officers were placed on routine paid administrative leave.

"It's not normal behavior to be running up to police officers with a weapon," Garcia said, but added police had no previous record of any mental health holds on Delossantos. Police also do not yet have a toxicology report on Delossantos. 

"Whether you're on a year or whether you're on 28 years, approaching an individual at a gas pump who's trying to light a fire, I don't know if any amount of training - I don't know if any amount of training is going to prepare you with really how to deal with that," Garcia said. "We don't get any additional training on lighting gas pumps so I think we always assume the worst."

Police said body-camera footage from both officers will be released in the following weeks.