Calif. police fatally shoot knife-wielding woman
Police were responding to reports of loud noise and breaking glass when they spotted the woman who refused to drop the knife
By Sharon Noguchi
San Jose Mercury News
SAN JOSE — A knife-wielding woman was shot and killed early Saturday by at least one sheriff's deputy in a Burbank neighborhood driveway, the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office said.
Hours earlier and just a few blocks away, a man driving a truck through a strip mall parking lot on West San Carlos Street was shot dead by an unknown assailant.
In both cases, authorities did not immediately release the names of the victims, nor their ages or cities of residence.
The shootings and the subsequent investigations rattled Burbank residents and shoppers.
According to the sheriff's office, one resident called 911 at 12:17 a.m. Saturday to reported hearing the sound of breaking glass and a loud pounding in a triplex on Cleveland Avenue near Olive Avenue in San Jose. Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Kurtis Stenderup said three deputies responded.
As they walked up the driveway of the triplex, Stenderup said, deputies encountered a woman with a knife. The deputies ordered her to drop it, and she refused. Stenderup said at least one deputy shot the woman at 12:19 a.m.
Firefighters and paramedics responded shortly after that and administered first aid to the woman before pronouncing her dead.
Neighbors reported hearing two or three gunshots.
"I heard yelling — 'Get on the ground, get on the ground!' 1/2 ?" just before the shots rang out, said one resident who didn't want his name used.
"I came out and didn't see anything," said a Cleveland Avenue resident who lives less than a block from West San Carlos. Then he heard sirens.
As deputies investigated Saturday, they blocked access to the area near the intersection of Cleveland and Olive avenues.
Once the initial investigation is complete, deputies involved in the shooting will routinely be placed on paid administrative leave, Stenderup said. No deputies were injured in the encounter, he said.
Following countywide protocol, the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office is monitoring the investigation.
In Friday night's shooting at the West San Carlos Center, a man driving a truck was shot in the head, according to witnesses.
Police received a call at 7:32 p.m. and responded to the strip mall. The victim was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead at 8:55 p.m., according to San Jose Police Sgt. Heather Randol. The death marked the city's 42nd homicide of the year, a total that doesn't include three cases in the sheriff's jurisdiction.
Patrons at the stores in the mall — which includes eateries, a Goodwill store, a Cash and Carry grocery, See's Candies, spas and other businesses — ran and dove for cover when they heard gunshots.
"Everybody dropped to the floor," said Alex Soto, recounting what his fellow employees at Herb's, a medical marijuana dispensary, told him about the evening.
Next door at Sliders Burgers, Franky Campbell, 26, was just biting into a hamburger when he heard the shots. "We all ran to the back," he said.
When the shots stopped, Campbell went out to check on two dogs he had left in his car. Then he noticed a truck, possibly green and an early '90s Chevrolet or GMC, had crashed into a parked Toyota and ended up about 5 feet onto the walkway. The truck's motor was still running. A man was slumped in the front, he said, and outside a woman was crying hysterically into a cell phone. There were bullet holes in the windshield, he said.
Campbell said he directed arriving police to the truck. Police repeatedly shouted at the man, "Can you hear me?"
But. Campbell said, there was no response.
The victim, who was pulled from the truck onto the ground, was wearing a black hoodie and dark slacks, Campbell said.
Later, patrons and employees could not drive their cars from the parking lot, which was taped off as a crime scene.
Mary Mills, a resident of Brooklyn Avenue, between the two shootings, said the gunshots and sirens disturbed not only her, but also her two cats. "They jumped right up on my bed," she said. "They kept me up all night."
San Jose police have not identified suspects nor determined a motive for the shooting.
In the shooting by sheriff's deputies, Stenderup asked that anyone with information related to the shooting contact sheriff's homicide investigators at 408-808-4431.
Copyright 2013 the San Jose Mercury News