San Jose police said in a news conference Wednesday afternoon that a man was killed in an officer-involved shooting Tuesday evening when he charged at officers with weapons after resisting no less than 23 commands to stand down.
San Jose police Chief Eddie Garcia said officers responded at 5:02 p.m. to a call from an employee about a suspicious vehicle at the Metcalf Energy Center at 1 Blanchard Road in South San Jose.
The power plant employee described a suspicious man in a black Mercedes-Benz. The employee said that the person had pulled something out of the trunk but they could not confirm exactly what that object was, Garcia said.
The employee described him as an Asian man in his 20s, standing about 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighing about 145 pounds. He was wearing a black jacket, a white shirt and black pants.
Garcia said investigators believe that after the call was made, the man gained access to the property by jumping over the fence.
The employee called police back to report that the man had a backpack, a pipe and possibly an ax with him. Garcia did not immediately release how close the suspect got to employees.
When officers arrived, they found the black Mercedes unoccupied and located a large sword laying in the driver’s seat.
When police ran the man’s license plate, it identified the vehicle as armed and dangerous because of a prior incident with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office.
Garcia said the same suspect had possibly led authorities on a pursuit in Santa Cruz County after he brandished a weapon around security guards and also possessed a sword. Garcia said he did not know whether the sword from the Santa Cruz County case was the same one San Jose officers found Tuesday night.
The officers located the man who matched the employee’s description in a matter of minutes after arrival and saw that he was wielding a 6-foot pipe and an ax. They gave the suspect verbal commands to surrender or drop the weapons, but he refused to comply and walked away from the officers, Garcia said.
The chief said officers followed the suspect at “a safe distance” and continued to give the man verbal commands to drop his weapons, but he continued to act defiantly and yelled “shoot me” and “kill me” multiple times.
The suspect then turned around and advanced toward the officers still armed with both weapons. He continued to yell demands to shoot, Garcia said.
He got 5 to 6 feet away from one officer, at which time the officer shot at the man. The suspect continued toward a second officer with his pipe and ax, which is when the second officer shot at him too, Garcia said.
The suspect was hit at least once and was pronounced dead at the scene.
His name will not be released until the Santa Clara County medical examiner’s office identifies him and notifies his next of kin.
A search of the suspect’s possessions found that he was also carrying an additional ax, six throwing knives and pepper spray, according to Garcia.
The two officers involved were wearing body cameras and they were activated, Garcia said. The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office now has custody of the footage.
The officers have been put on routine paid administrative leave during the investigation, according to Garcia.
The suspect had a history of numerous prior offenses, including for narcotics, weapon violations and resisting arrest. He was submitted for a 72-hour psychiatric hold this past September.
He was not on probation or parole but had three active warrants against him in Santa Clara County for traffic-related offenses, resisting arrest and various drug offenses, Garcia said.
Police do not believe the man had any ties to the power plant itself and do not know why he entered the premises. They plan on doing an extensive search into his history for clarity.
The district attorney’s office and San Jose police will be doing a joint investigation into the case.