02/02/2012

Sgt. shoots, kills Ariz. man wielding meat cleaver

A man wielding a meat cleaver reportedly threatened employees, lunged toward the sergeant

By PoliceOne Staff

TUCSON, Ariz. — A sergeant shot and killed a man authorities say carried a meat cleaver inside a Chinese restaurant in Maricopa.

The man, whose name is being withheld, threatened employees and customers who grew concerned and called 911, according to The Republic. The Maricopa Police Department and Pinal County Sheriff's Office sent officers and deputies to talk to the man, who cut himself with the meat cleaver and appeared to be unresponsive or unwilling to negotiate.

Law enforcement attempted to communicate in both English and Spanish and employed less-lethal options before the shooting, ABC 15 reported. Elias Johnson with the Pinal County Sheriff's Office said on three occasions, the suspect was hit with beanbag rounds in conjunction with multiple commands to surrender.

When the man suddenly lunged toward the sergeant and brandished his weapon, the sergeant fired two shots, police said. Medical attention was administered at the scene, but shortly after, the man died.

Police said the sergeant feared for his safety as the suspect attempted to use lethal force against him.

"Our sergeant responded to the deadly threat posed by this suspect as he was trained in order to protect himself, his fellow officers and the citizens of Pinal County," Sheriff Paul Babeu said. "Law enforcement is a dangerous profession."

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