STOCKTON -- The Stockton Police Department said its officer had little choice but to fatally shoot an armed robbery suspect Tuesday afternoon. The shooting happened at the Jamestown Plaza shopping center near Weberstown East Park in North Stockton.
Those who live nearby heard the gunshots.
"I just heard the gunshots, I was in my house, and I hear four gun shots at one time, and then about five seconds later I heard 10 more," said neighbor Greta, who didn't want to give her last name.
Stockton police say one of its officers was in the area searching for a robbery suspect.
"He saw a person matching the suspect's description, so he went to go make contact with that person who then ran away from the officer armed with a handgun," said Stockton Police Department spokesman Ofc. Joe Silva.
Stockton police provided a picture of the handgun investigators say the suspect had. Silva said the officer ran after the suspect.
"The suspect stopped running and there was a confrontation between the suspect and the officer. The suspect refused to comply with the officer's orders, at which point the officer not only fearing for his safety but for the safety of others fired his service weapon striking the suspect," Silva said.
That suspect was taken to a hospital, but did not survive.
The death has many who live in the area questioning why the police had to kill the man.
"What the Stockton Police Department do, take the guns and act like it's a toy and shoot people," one neighbor told FOX40.
"It's scary because I have kids, I have two older sons that be at this park, and that's what I was really thinking, it was one of my sons," Greta said.
On Facebook, family and friends are mourning the loss of Colby Friday. His name has not been released by the coroner's office. But FOX40 spoke to his aunt, mother and grandmother Tuesday night, who tell us he was a father and rapper, originally from the Bay Area.
Silva said the suspect, a 30-year-old man, is a documented gang member, with prior arrests for robbery, weapons and resisting arrest.
The officer who pulled the trigger was unharmed and will now be placed on paid administrative leave, according to Silva.