Walnut Creek residents describe shooting of man by police

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KGO) -- Witnesses to a Walnut Creek police shooting on Arlene Lane are now sharing their account of what happened at 5 p.m. Sunday. Officers shot and killed a 23-year-old mentally ill man who they say charged at them with a crowbar.

"We heard a lot of noise. We looked out the window and he was charging down the road here with a crowbar and the cops were telling him to stop, I think. That's what brought me to the window because we heard all this yelling," said Miles Maynard.

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Police say the man's grandmother and mother had both called to report him. A neighbor also called, saying the man was at their door. Connor Thaning saw his dad and sister take cover behind their car.

"I thought the guy was going to charge my dad so I came running out the door and uh I see these cops running at him and they shoot him and he didn't fall down and then they shot him again and he dropped," said Thaning.

Police have not released the man's name but residents say he was well known in the area. They say he often rides his bike around the neighborhood. Neighbors say they were aware of his mental illness.

"The family sent around a notice saying he had mental problems and he was not dangerous. But he obviously snapped," said Maynard.

Police say they fired bean bag rounds at him but they had little to no effect. They say he then charged at them with a crowbar.

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"They were yelling at him to stop. They did everything they could do," said Maynard.

Police called it a crowbar but Thaning described it a bit differently.

"It was like a javelin looking thing, a long spear that was sharp at one end," he said.

Police say the five officers on scene have been placed on administrative lead. They do plan to release footage from the body cameras the officers were wearing. Police have released information through a written press release. They have not returned calls Monday to respond to questions.
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