Tucson police investigating fatal officer-involved shooting
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The family of the man shot Friday and killed by Tucson Police is expressing outrage about his death. The officer-involved shooting happened at a trailer on East Rillito Street, near Grant and Stone.
"We'd like to get him into a mental ward. Not the morgue. A mental ward and now that's what they've done. They shot him," said the victim's brother.
Tucson police say the man was armed with a large butcher knife and continued to advance on officers, despite their commands to stop. Tucson News Now also spoke to the victim's family, who are angry and question why officers used deadly force.
The victim's family gave Tucson News Now a picture of the man, 28-year-old Abraham Smith. His family said he had a mental disability.
At 4:30 p.m. officers with the Mobile Acute Crisis Team responded to the scene with a court order, according to Tucson Police. Those officers are trained to help people with mental issues. Police officials say Smith refused to answer the door when officers knocked. They made an announcement and went into the trailer.
Officers say, minutes later Smith came out of a back bedroom with a large butcher knife and possibly another knife on him. The officers backed away but they say he continued to come at them – that's when one of the officers fired his weapon, killing Smith. The possible second knife was later identified as a broken shard of mirror.
TPD officials said the officer had no other choice, but the family does not agree.
"Why didn't they use a taser gun? They knew he was dangerous as far as unstable," said Smith's brother. "He stopped talking and was mute."
"This is not a situation where I believe the officers didn't understand the dynamics of what they were dealing with. This is a situation where they were forced in a position where they had no other answer," said TPD Assistant Chief Ramon Batista.
Now the Pima County Attorney's office will be investigating this shooting and will determine if the officers were justified. The three officers involved in this have been placed on paid administrative leave.
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