Burglary Suspect Killed by Police in Sunset Cliffs Area Wanted to Commit Suicide

by on December 11, 2017 · 5 comments

in Ocean Beach

From San Diego Patch

San Diego police shot and killed a break-in suspect in the Sunset Cliffs neighborhood, police said on Twitter. Officers responded to the scene just after 6 a.m. Sunday for reports that someone was trying to enter at least one home on the 1300 block of Trieste Drive, police said in a release.

A 911 caller said a man banged on their front door and demanded they give him a knife so he could kill himself.

Officers arrived and found the man in the front yard of a neighboring home, which was elevated above the street and the officers, police said. The suspect then threw bricks at the officers sitting in a parked car, police said.

The suspect then took off toward the home and officers heard the sound of glass shattering, leading them to believe he had broken into the home. When they followed him, they found glass door had been broken and the suspect was inside in the kitchen. Thinking the residents might be in danger, they went in to the home and saw the man put a knife to his throat, police said.

The officers ordered him to put down the blade, but instead he charged at them, police said. Fearing for their lives, one officer fired off several rounds shots from an AR-15 rifle and another fired a single shot from his bean-bag shotgun, police said.

 The suspect was hit at least once by the rifle and collapsed. Police gave the suspect medical attention but he died at the scene, Zimmerman said.

Neither the officers nor the two residents at the home were hurt, police said. The residents had been asleep at the time of the shooting.

The officer who fired the rifle is a 15-year veteran of the force.

The 24-year-old suspect, who is white, has been identified by police. His name will not be released until his family can be notified.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Avatar retired botanist December 12, 2017 at 4:14 pm

This story appalls me in so many ways. I wasn’t there, I am not a gun-owner, and perhaps the body cam footage will show something that will educate me further. But the facts I have read are depressing; I feel sorry for everyone, the people who happened to live in the house the young man entered, the 911 caller, perhaps even the police officers. But the call reported this young man as suicidal, not homicidal, the knife was pointed at his own neck and even if turned, compared to an automatic rifle, what is that? What is a brick, thrown at someone in an encased vehicle? What has happened to thought? Reason? Sound judgement? Who are we in this age? This so epitomizes a serious national flaw, it is sad and disheartening.

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Avatar Chris December 23, 2017 at 3:35 am

“The officers ordered him to put down the blade, but instead he charged at them, police said.”

If that’s what really happened what were the officers supposed to do? Whether they used a shotgun or a pistol the outcome would have probably been the same.

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Avatar retired botanist December 23, 2017 at 4:02 am

How about the bean-bag gun, or the taser, followed by handcuffs? Were the officers wearing flak jackets or some kind of protective covering? Perhaps what the officers were supposed to do was first attempt to de-escalate the situation…”ordering” doesn’t sound very smart when they were already aware of the fact that the man was mentally ill. And “charging”? Well, let’s see what the bodycam footage shows- assuming the public is even allowed to weigh in on that. So far, we haven’t been very privy to viewing officer Butera’s previous actions in similar situations…this is his 4th fatal shooting in three years.

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Avatar Debbie December 23, 2017 at 6:41 am

Kyle Zahacefski is listed as the suspect.

Doing a search on the internet he has “issues” in the past
http://www.norwichbulletin.com/article/20140312/NEWS/140319795

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Avatar retired botanist December 23, 2017 at 1:04 pm

just read that, and it certainly validates his state of mind- obviously he had “issues” a couple weeks ago. no “issues” now.

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