P-1 Editor's Note -- According to the Force Science Research Center, knife culture is growing, not shrinking, with many people, including the homeless, carrying significant blades on the street. Revisit the underlying principles of edged-weapon defense, in light of fresh research ... Full Story
By Jennifer Leahy
The Houston Chronicle
A knife-wielding man was shot and killed by a Houston police officer outside an east Houston convenience store Saturday afternoon.
The man, described by police as white and 38 years old, robbed a liquor store and then walked down the street to Eddie's Food Store at 10002 Holland, where he lunged at police with a knife after leaving the store.
"He first dropped the knife at the request of officers but then picked it back up and charged at the officers," said police spokeswoman Johanna Abad.
Officer Scott Dalton, a 14-year veteran, shot the man once in the torso with a shotgun.
Abad said officers are trained to shoot at the "center mass" when confronted by someone with a deadly weapon.
Jacinto City Police responded to a robbery call at Ralston's Discount Liquors at 11017 Market about noon and found the man hiding behind the store, said Ralston's employee Kathy Hinojosa.
Jacinto City Police requested assistance, prompting a response from Galena Park and Houston police departments.
Officers followed the man as he walked several blocks north down Holland.
"They gave him so many chances to surrender. They offered to take him to a hospital, to get help for him. He said, `You can't help me, just shoot me,' " said James Burrow, who was working at nearby Watermill Express when the incident occurred.
"He seemed so calm - crazy but calm," Burrow said.
Hinojosa said the man had been "friendly" while in the liquor store.
"He was limping and I asked him about it, and he said he had a blister on his foot. He seemed like a gentleman. I never even heard him raise his voice, even when he asked for the money," she said.
The incident was the third fatal shooting by a Houston police officer this year.
Omar Esparza, 21, was shot Jan. 7. The man described as mentally ill was first struck with beanbag pellets designed to disarm him but continued to charge police, who said he was holding a hammer.
Robert B. McIntosh, 23, who police said used an officer's Taser to injure another officer, was fatally shot Jan. 8.
Dalton will be placed on administrative duty for several days while the investigation is conducted, which is standard police policy.
The shooting is being investigated by the Harris County District Attorney's Office, the Harris County medical examiner, Houston police homicide division and Internal Affairs.
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Knife-wielding suspect in robbery fatally shot by Houston police