Suspect killed in Palo Alto officer-involved shooting

PALO ALTO, Calif. (KGO) -- The residential health facility looks like any other house on the block its located on in Palo Alto, near the downtown.

It takes in men and woman with mental health issues for treatment programs.

On Christmas night, police were called there for a disturbance, which ended in an officer involved shooting.

Staff members were not commenting, but one woman who lives at the center, says the suspect was shot because he wouldn't drop a butter knife.

"It was just rapid fire. I'm shocked, really," explained Mike Zelazny, a neighbor.

Police sealed off the 600 block of Forest Avenue to investigate.

Neighbors describe the center, which is run by the La Selva Group, as transitional housing.

"Most of the people who are paroled there are very respectful. And they are very good neighbors," said Mike Zelazny, a neighbor.

One resident, who did not want to be speak on camera, says the man who was shot was a patient. She says the man had only been living here for only a few days, but went on to describe his as being "off."

She says other residents saw the suspect threatening someone with a butter knife.

A neighbor says staff members were distraught.

"One of the young men was pacing just on the side path. I just went up and gave him a hug. He appeared to be in shock and he wasn't saying anything," said Barbara Labson, also a neighbor.

The suspect died after being taken to the hospital.

According to police, the knife-wielding suspect appears to have called 9-1-1 to report a false emergency in order to summon police to the residence.

The preliminary investigation indicates that the suspect called 9-1-1 from a home in the 600 block of Forest Avenue on December 25, 2015, at about 9:16 p.m.

The suspect said that there was a person at the residence who wanted to harm someone, and provided a name of that alleged person. No one by that name was present.

As soon as officers arrived on scene, the suspect immediately charged at them in the street while armed with a knife. It appears the suspect may have been outside the residence awaiting police arrival. Two officers fired their pistols at the suspect.

No officers were injured. Both officers are currently on paid administrative leave, as is standard in any officer-involved shooting investigation. .

Investigators from the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office are conducting a parallel investigation alongside the Palo Alto Police Department, which is standard procedure for any officer-involved shooting in Santa Clara County.

Investigators from both agencies worked throughout the night and are continuing to investigate all aspects of what occurred, including searching for any possible clues to determine the suspect's motivations.

No information about the identity of the suspect will be released by the Palo Alto Police Department until they have officially confirmed the suspect's identity and notified their next of kin.

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