Witnesses Say Man Shot By Woodland Police Had Mental Issues

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A lengthy investigation is in store after a Woodland Police officer shot and killed a man who was wielding a knife.

Police say the man, whose name has not been released, was a threat to officers after efforts to get him to give up the knife failed and he made a move toward the officer.

The incident occurred on the second floor walkway of the College Manor apartments on Eliot and College Streets.  Police were called to the location at about 6 a.m.  Witnesses heard  police shouting at the middle-aged man while pointing Tasers at him.

“‘We just want to get you help, put the weapon down, we don’t want to hurt you,'” apartment resident Linda Hogge, repeating what she heard police shouting.

woodland pdShe and other witnesses say the man spun around on the walkway and headed the other direction where there was another officer.  That’s when witnesses say three shots were fired.

“That officer would have gotten hurt and I fully believe he had no other choice, because that man was running at him,” said Hogge.

Police Sgt. Brett Hancock said officers are trained not to let suspects with knives get within about 20 feet of them.

“They typically will be able to strike you with a knife faster than you can shoot them,” said Hancock.

Hancock says using tasers are preferred over firearms except when the suspect threatens officers with a lethal weapon.

“That threat is going to be responded with also with a lethal threat as opposed to a taser,” said Hancock.

Hogge said the man used foul language and threatened her Saturday but usually had a pleasant demeanor.  Others say the man had mental issues and perhaps was not taking his medication.

“People who have mental health issues aren’t getting the treatment that they need…they’re self medicating themselves with illegal drugs and alcohol and it just makes their problems escalate,” said the manager of a nearby apartment building who didn’t want to be identified.

The Davis Police Department was called in to head up the investigation of the shooting  with assistance from the Department of Justice.

A group called the California Campaign to End Police Terror planned a rally in Woodland at  East and Main Streets at 7 p.m. to ask for an independent investigation of the incident.

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