Vallejo police shoot suspect who had BB gun

May 25, 2012 2:19:31 PM PDT
Around midnight, Vallejo officers shot a man who was holding a gun on Carolina Street at Sonoma Boulevard. But now investigators are asking if he had a death wish.

The incident ended just after midnight when a man was shot to death by two Vallejo police officers. It began just a few minutes before, when a white man in a long black coat paid his fare then pulled a handgun on the cab driver. Then he pointed it at a pedestrian. When officers arrived they told him to stop.

"He actually pulled a handgun out of his pocket, turned on the officers, pointed it at the officers and both officers discharged their weapons at the man to stop the threat," said Vallejo Police Dept Lt. Lee Horton.

The deceased was well known to police and what he was known for, has investigators wondering if perhaps the end result is exactly what he wanted, what some call suicide by cop.

"He has a history with us, some suicidal threats in the past and some threats to other people, some weapons stuff that he had going on in the past and a lot of alcohol related stuff," said Horton.

Officers say the weapon the man used was identical to a non-lethal CO2 BB gun made to look like a Beretta. Officers obviously had a difficult time noticing the difference in the middle of the night from 30 feet away.

"You really have to inspect the thing and get it in your hands before you can tell that it is a BB gun. If you are carrying one of those things and get contacted by police you need to be very careful," said Horton.

The man's name is being withheld pending notification of his next-of-kin, but police said he is a 53-year-old resident of north Vallejo.


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