The county coroner identified a man killed Thursday morning as 22-year-old Anthony Banta Jr. Beyond that, police have released very few details. They say the incident started with an early-morning 9-1-1 call where a woman could be heard screaming in the background. When officers arrived at the Diablo Pointe apartments, there was a deadly confrontation with the suspect.
"They confronted one armed subject inside of an apartment," Walnut Creek police Capt. Tim Schultz said. Police say they had no choice when they showed up at the Diablo Pointe Apartments at 3:15 a.m. The officers found themselves face to face with an undisclosed weapon. "Unfortunately, they were forced to shoot that individual and that individual was pronounced deceased at the scene," Schultz said.
"This is really foreign to this area," neighbor Ian Wallace told ABC7 News. He said he was asleep until he heard noises that he didn't immediately recognize as gunshots. "I was actually just woken up. It sounded like banging. I didn't even know it was a gun," he said.
Police say more than one officer was involved in the shooting. Investigators would not reveal how many shots were fired or whether the man had a gun or fired it at police. The officers involved have been sequestered and will be placed on administrative leave.
Like all of Walnut Creek, Creekside Drive is a quiet residential area not prone to violence much less, the sound of gunshots in the middle of the night. "One of our neighbors called us and just said, 'Don't come out of your house and just keep your doors closed until we hear otherwise,'" neighbor Maurice Power recalled. "Just never imagined this. Everybody's together and happy all the time."
"I've been living in this neighborhood for three years and nothing like this has ever happened," neighbor Sabrina Duenez said. She lives near the Diablo Pointe apartments. Last year, she says her brother was shot and killed by police in Manteca who claimed he was carrying a knife. "This kind of hits home for me and I will definitely be following this story to find out exactly happened," she said.