6th SJPD officer-involved shooting raises concerns

October 17, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
San Jose police are investigating their sixth officer-involved shooting this year and their third just this month. The numbers are higher than previous years and there is some concern.

Four San Jose police officers arrived at the Parkside Terrace apartment complex in San Jose at 11:52 p.m. Sunday afternoon. Ten minutes later, two officers had used their Tasers on the suspect and one had fired his gun.

The sergeant who fired the fatal shots has 28 years experience. Witnesses say the suspect was a resident of the complex and there were multiple shots fired.

The San Jose Police Department has had six officer-involved shootings this year, three of them fatal. That is two more incidents than all of last year and double the number from 2009.

The independent police auditor is concerned.

"It's just very upsetting to know that people who, anyone has been killed and that there have been so many this year," LaDoris Cordell said.

Since police are not saying yet if the suspect actually had a weapon, residents at the complex are split on whether they think deadly force was necessary.

"I can say with I'm pretty confident the officer did feel threatened; I've heard from various people that were actually witness to it that he did seem to have a weapon and seemed very hostile at the moment," resident Samuel Woodland said.

Of the six officer-involved shootings this year there was only one citizen complaint, which is what it takes to trigger the police auditor to investigate.

"There has been one complaint so far about one of the shootings, the first which took place in January of this year," Cordell said.

Three of the officers are on paid administrative leave. The department is not releasing details about what lead the officers to use their weapons.

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