One man was shot and killed by Salinas police Tuesday afternoon after officers responded to reports of an intruder from a resident living on Elkington Ave.
Officers said the victim reported a man trying to break into a home and threatened to kill them. It was also reported that the suspect tried to kill the victim's dog and had exposed his genitals in a sexually explicit manner and made sexually explicit and suggestive comments.
Two officers responded within minutes, and found a Hispanic man on the street with large gardening shears.
Officers told Central Coast News they told the man to drop the shears in both English and Spanish and that he refused to comply and began waving them around. They say officers attempted to use a stun gun but it was not effective.
As the suspect continued to ignore the orders of the officers, police said the suspect retrieved the gardening shears from his backpack. The suspect reportedly swung the gardening shears at the officers in an aggressive fashion. Police said those officers were in danger of being stabbed or slashed. In response to this threat, two officers fired their weapons at the suspect.
The suspect's name and age have not been released at this time.
Witnesses captured the incident on cellphone footage that quickly went viral Tuesday as people shared the clip on various social media sites. A version of that video can be seen below:
As of Tuesday afternoon, police officials tell Central Coast News they believe officers gave the suspect every chance to comply and that they acted appropriately.
The shooting comes as many members of the community are still angry and asking questions about a fatal police-involved shooting that occurred earlier this month outside the Mi Pueblo store. Osman Hernandez, 26, was shot and killed by officers after they say he was brandishing a knife.
Salinas Mayor Joe Gunter read a statement about that shooting at the city council meeting saying that the officers are still under an internal investigation and continuing, "The review will take several weeks at least to complete. The facts of the incident are largely known. However additional facts will be needed to be gathered including information from the coroner and toxicology report. Officers are reviewing the evidence already obtained and they are continuing to gather witness statements. Once all of the facts have been gathered, the matter will be submitted to the District Attorney for review. After that review is complete, the results of this review will be made public. Anyone can comment on the matter in public comments. However, the city council will not discuss this incident and will not be responding to questions regarding this incident because the review of the investigation is not complete."
A crowd of about 100 angry people gathered near Tuesday's scene, telling reporters they were outraged by this latest incident.
Salinas Police Chief Kelly McMillin asked Tuesday night, "I am asking for patience from the community as the investigation continues."
In a news release, the department said it is "well aware of the concerns raised by the community in regards to this and other officer-involved shootings. We take the investigation of any act causing loss of life to be one of our most important responsibilities. We ask the community to be patient and remain calm until enough facts are known so that a conclusion as to the appropriateness of the officers' actions can be determined. At this time evidence is being collected, video evidence is being evaluated, interviews are being conducted and a thorough investigation is underway. Further information will be provided to the public as the investigation proceeds."