LISA B. MCPHERON, THE PRESS-ENTERPRISE
Copyright 2006 The Press Enterprise, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
SAN BERNARDINO- A relative of a man who was shot and wounded by a San Bernardino police officer Tuesday said that the officer did what was necessary.
Officers attempted to subdue Richard Alonzo, 40, with pepper spray, a baton and a beanbag gun before shooting him, a San Bernardino Police Department news release said.
"They did what they needed to do," said Jamie Abel, Alonzo's sister-in-law. "He's schizophrenic and had a knife."
The chain of events has been a shock to the family, said Alonzo's mother, Dora Perez.
Alonzo was visiting his mother in the 2500 block of West Maple Street when he began threatening family members at about 5:30 p.m.
Abel called police, who arrived to find Alonzo holding an 8-inch knife that he refused to drop, said police Lt. Mark Garcia in the news release. Despite repeated orders to drop the weapon, Alonzo advanced toward the officers.
They tried to stop the man with a baton, pepper spray and a shotgun that shoots beanbags, but the nonlethal defense measures didn't work. An officer then fired several rounds at Alonzo, who dropped the knife after being shot and was taken into custody, the news release stated. Alonzo was transported to a hospital for treatment. Information on Alonzo's wounds and his condition was not available.
He is expected to recover and Garcia said he would be transferred to a psychiatric hospital.
On Tuesday police said Alonzo was a San Bernardino resident, but Perez said he was in town visiting from San Diego.
The names of the officers involved were not released.
May 11, 2006
Calif. suspect's relative agrees with use of force