911 calls from controversial shooting released

November 13, 2009 6:40:06 PM PST
San Jose police today released the 911 tapes from the controversial shooting death of a mentally ill man in San Jose. A grand jury last month cleared these officers of any wrongdoing.

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Those officers are back on the job and police say on the day of the shooting, they were aware of a previous call to that home that involved a mentally ill person. But they were unaware that it was the same suspect.

San Jose police outlined a frantic scene on May 10th that ended in officers shooting to death 27-year-old Daniel Pham.

"They were told someone is out of control, someone has been cut up a person has a knife, and a person is high on drugs," said Lt. Rikki Goede from the San Jose Police Department.

Officers were told the brother who cut the throat of Brian Pham was in the backyard with a knife. Two officers arrived at the home six minutes after the initial 911 call.

911 recording: "King 1 has a visual of the suspect. I'm 10-96 on him. He's refusing to drop the knife."

Police say they were worried about Brian Pham's girlfriend who was in the house and frightened.

911 recording: "He won't drop the knife, he won't drop the knife. They're going to do what they can to make it safe, yes."

Police first fired a Taser but it had no effect on Daniel Pham.

"What it did do, however is he pulls the wires away and goes toward the source of the Taser came from and starts advancing rapidly toward Officer Blackerby's position," said Lt. Goede.

Both officers fired their weapons releasing 14 rounds in all -- 12 of them hit Daniel Pham.

911 recording: "King 1 shots fired. Drop the knife now, copy, shots fired."

Police say from the time the officers arrived on the scene to the time they fired their weapons, one minute and 44 seconds passed. They say Brian Pham hid from officers that his brother was mentally ill.

"The fact, the brother in his later interviews with him said he specifically did not want to tell the officers that arrived that he was mentally ill because they were afraid that it could change it and cause him to be hurt," said Lt. Goede.

Police said that knowing that Daniel Pham was indeed mentally ill would not have changed his actions that day because they said police officers' lives were in danger.

LINK: San Jose police records regarding officer-involved shooting of Daniel Pham

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