A 12-year veteran of the San Jose Police Department was shot and killed Tuesday evening by a suspect who was not in police custody as of late Tuesday night.
The suspect, identified as 57-year-old Scott Dunham, may still be inside his residence and armed, police said. The name of the slain officer had not been released as of late Tuesday night.
During a news conference late Tuesday night, San Jose police Chief Larry Esquivel said:
“It’s a sad day for law enforcement and police department in our community.”
Officers responded to a report of a man armed with a gun threatening to kill himself in the 2600 block of Senter Road around 6:50 p.m., San Jose police Officer Albert Morales said. A family member of Dunham called police to report that the 57-year-old man was despondent, intoxicated and possibly had access to weapons, including a rifle, San Jose police Chief Larry Esquivel said.
The reporting party also feared Dunham may hurt somebody, Esquivel said.
When officers arrived on scene to an apartment complex, Dunham allegedly fired at officers from his residence, Esquivel said. One of the officers was struck by the gunfire and pronounced dead at the scene, according to Esquivel:
“It’s unfortunate that this person had the nerve and the audacity to shoot at our officers responding to a call for service for assistance.”
The other officers fired back at Dunham but police do not know if he was injured, Esquivel said. Police then set up a perimeter around the residence and believe Dunham is still inside by himself, according to Esquivel. Dunham’s wife left the residence and police are in contact with her, Esquivel said.
Officers were in the process of evacuating residents out of the area late Tuesday night, Esquivel said:
“I can assure you that this person responsible for this act will be apprehended.”
Mayor Sam Liccardo called the fatal shooting:
“San Jose’s darkest hour. … Our hearts go out to family, friends and colleagues of the officer.”
The mayor said he visited the officer’s family and offered his condolences on behalf of the city:
“This strikes the hearts of all of us here in San Jose and throughout the region.”