Several dozen people gathered Monday evening near the 7-11 on E Main Street in Woodland to protest the police shooting of a local man.
Woodland Police said at around 5:50 a.m. Monday, officers responded to a disturbance on Elliot Street. Police said when they arrived, they found a 53-year-old man screaming in an apartment complex.
According to police, the man was holding a knife and charged at officers. This is when one of the officers shot at him, in fear of his life. The man was immediately transported by ambulance, but was pronounced dead before reaching the hospital.
However, protestors were outraged that another police officer had shot and killed a local man, especially after the Michael Brown incident in Ferguson, Mo.
“These men that are getting shot, they could have been my brother, my father, or me even,” protestor Maile Hampton said.
Many of the protestors were told by witnesses that the man was mentally ill, and did not deserve to be shot. Sources said the confrontation between police and the man lasted around 15 seconds. They believe there were other options.
“He was more harmful to himself than to anyone else,” Woodland resident, Mindy Donham said. “The situation could have been handled differently.”
Some witnesses reported their cell phone video of the shooting, was seized by Woodland Police.
However, FOX40 obtained new cell phone video, which showed the man running toward officers. Within seconds, there were three gunshots fired at him. It could not be confirmed if the man was wielding a knife because the video was shot from too far away.
Woodland Police said that lethal force was necessary in this situation. Officers are trained not to allow a suspect with a knife to get within 21 feet.
Across the street from the protesters stood retired police officer, Gene Hunter. He was the only one publically showing support of the decision made by Woodland Police officers Monday morning.
“Whether the person had mental illness or not, if they are violent, hostile, and armed themselves with a weapon, the Police have to do what is necessary to defend themselves,” Hunter said.
A third party investigation is now in place by the Davis Police Department to see if the shooting was necessary. In the meantime, both sides said they will continue exercising their First Amendment rights.
“They were there to protect the rights of other people,” Hunter said.
“I was quiet for all 18 years of my life,” Hampton said. “And I finally found my voice, and I will never stop. I will never be silent. They can never silence me ever again.”