The images and sounds of a Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy shooting a knife wielding man have been circulating on social media. And many including an eyewitness to the say the man should not have been shot.
“It was like right in front of me and I thought why are they shooting this guy and I thought no way this is right at all,” said Stephen Goode.
But Sheriff Chad Bianco says people should with hold judgment until the investigation is complete, “That’s why we do investigations and we do complete investigations, initially early on we heard of the people you know just like you were saying, they were saying that the deputy killed him in cold blood and it was unwarranted but the reality is that that is a very isolated view and very restricted view of what really happened of the overall picture.”
He says they have body camera footage of many different angles and what people aren’t seeing is that lethal force was used as a last resort, “We were acting on a call for service of a man wielding a knife and when we went there he did not obey instructions contrary to what social media wants to tell you we did deploy all different measures we didn’t just immediately go toward a weapon, we tried less lethal we tried electronic, we tried pepper ball, pepper spray and nothing worked so in a last resort when he did lunge towards the deputy the deputy did engage with a firearm.”
He says while on scene passersby were shouting at deputies to leave the man alone, something they cannot do with an armed man who is in public near a place that is crowded, “We have to go out there and protect people and what would those people say if we would have got there and the guy didn’t respond to us and didn’t obey orders so we just left and then someone gets hurt and then someone gets possibly killed then what are they going to say about us, that’s just not reality.”
Sheriff Bianco says anytime there is loss of life it’s tragic and his deputies are trained to only do that when lives are on the line, “This is a very, very unfortunate situation for all involved including our deputy.”