Detroit police have shot to death a man they say was wielding a sword in the middle of a street and threw a dagger at an officer, authorities said Thursday.
Video of the incident recorded by witnesses shows a man dressed in what authorities said was ‘something a hockey player would wear’ while brandishing what appears to be a sharp object.
The man is seen ignoring police orders to surrender and continues to wield what looks like a large knife as he approaches law enforcement officers near a police cruiser.
Police Chief James Craig said after the man was shot late on Thursday, he continued to approach officers while swinging the sword.
BREAKING: MDN obtains exclusive footage of the moments before the officer-involved shooting that occurred Thursday evening in the area of Grand River & Meyers on the city’s west side. Video captures the officers getting out of the vehicle and the man running in their direction, still swinging the weapon. He was told to drop the weapon multiple times but refused. MORE DETAILS: themetrodetroitnews.com/police-man-wielding-sword-fatally-shot-by-detroit-officers/ PHOTOS: www.facebook.com/117253926329586/posts/331907951530848/?d=n *This is not the full video of the incident.*
He was able to climb into a police vehicle before he was captured.
The unidentified man in his 20s was taken to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Based on a description of the man’s behavior, which included wildly swinging a 32-inch sword, Craig suspected the man may have been experiencing a mental breakdown.
The man charged police officers arriving at the scene, swung the sword and continued to approach officers after they asked him to drop the weapon, Craig said.
He said an officer deployed his Taser in an effort to stop the man, which was ineffective because of ‘protective covering over his torso.’
‘I wouldn’t call it a bulletproof vest; it was something like what a hockey player would wear,’ Craig said.
The man threw an eight-inch dagger, striking an officer below an eye during the confrontation, Craig said.
After the man, described as being in his 20s, continued to ignore commands to drop the weapon, the officer’s partner fired a shot that fatally wounded the man.
‘At some point, I’m not sure if it was before or after (the Taser was used), the suspect took out a second sharp object … an 8-inch dagger; threw it in the direction of the officer, striking the officer below the right eye,’ according to Craig.
‘This thing continued … the officer continually said drop the weapon … at some point, the officer’s partner deployed one round from his service (weapon), striking the suspect,’ Craig said.
‘But he continued forward.’
‘As he was chasing the officers, he went into the driver’s side (of a squad car),’ Craig said.
‘When he jumped into the scout car, the concern that the good Samaritan had, knowing police officers had shotguns and rifles in the front seat of the car … that he may have been attempting to gain control of the weapons.’
The incident marks the third police-related fatality in Detroit since July 10, and the fourth officer-involved shooting.
In two of the fatalities, video shows suspects pointing pistols at officers.
Craig said the shootings are a result of suspects becoming more brazen recently. He said he’s hearing more reports about aggressive behavior toward officers than at any time since he became chief in 2013.