Police shoot man threatening to set gas station nozzle on fire near Eastridge Mall in San Jose

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- San Jose police officers shot a man Saturday morning, who allegedly tried to ignite paper in the nozzle of a gas pump at an Arco gas station, located at the busy intersection of Capitol Expressway and Quimby Road near the Eastridge Mall.

The man allegedly drove off with the gas nozzle still attached to his car. When he returned, he pulled out a lighter and threatened to light the fire.

The gas station manager, who wouldn't speak on camera, says the store employee called her at home asking what to do after reporting the driver to police.

The manager says she guided the employee on how to shut off the gas.

"That's crazy! It could have blown up!" says Maria Pena, who lives nearby. She is one of many nearby residents who are thankful the situation didn't escalate.

According to San Jose police, the man was armed with a metal bar and charged at officers.

In an email to ABC7 News, San Jose police write: "Officers used multiple less lethal options that had no effect. The officers ultimately discharged their firearms in response."

The suspect was allegedly shot in the torso. He was taken to the hospital and is in stable condition.

The area was littered with evidence markers, including what appeared to be the non-lethal items police described.

Not only was traffic impacted with the street closures, but VTA buses weren't stopping at the mall because of the police investigation.

Ranjit Singh lives just blocks away from the Acro station. He says he grateful the gas station employee was able to shut off the gas. He says his neighborhood and the nearby mall could have been at risk.

"Maybe it would (impact) the shopping center. Many people (could) have died," says Singh. "It's very scary. It's very dangerous."

One officer had a minor injury. He was treated and released. San Jose Police will hold a press conference on Monday with an update.

Stay with ABC7 News for this developing story.
Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.