FRESNO, Calif. – The man who Fresno Police shot and killed on Monday was a retired Fresno Police captain, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said. The incident appears to be a copicide—suicide by cop.
Around 11:30 a.m., police responded to the 200 block of Moody Avenue after a woman called dispatchers saying that her husband was covered in blood and was trying to hurt himself, reported yourcentralvalley.com.
After officers arrived, the man came through his front door charging at officers with a 12-inch knife, Dyer said.
“As they went to the front door and opened it. They saw him inside. They saw what they described as pool of blood inside the doorway. Immediately, the individual jumped up and had the knife in his hand and charged out of the front door at both the officers,” Dyer said.
An officer deployed a Taser, but it did not have the desired effect, which can occur when multiple prongs do not hit the intended target. As a result, another officer fired what appeared to be two shots—striking and killing the man.
The man was identified as retired Fresno Police Capt. Marty West. Moreover, after retiring from Fresno Police Department, West served as the chief of Oakdale Police Department.
Dyer said he charged at officers with the knife. Furthermore, he reached within a few before the officer fired two rounds, ending the threat.
West retired from the Fresno Police Department in February in 2007, Dyer disclosed. He then spent five more years in Oakdale, according to the distraught chief.
“He was a longtime friend and a family member,” Dyer said, who appeared emotional.
Dyer’s uncle and West’s father were brothers, according to the chief, as reported by the KSEE broadcast, which can be viewed below.
West was struggling with mental health issues, Dyer said. The family had taken safety measures and removed all of the guns from the house.
Dyer confirmed that police previously responded to the home on Friday for a disturbance.
When officers arrived, West already had a knife wound to his neck, which was apparently self-inflicted.
West was covered in blood and charged at officers when the door opened.
Dyer told the press that he reviewed body camera video. Consequently, he said the officers had no other choice but to fire.
“I’ve lost a friend and family member,” Dyer said. “And he will be missed.”
Per normal protocol, the officers were placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation.
No other information was immediately available.