Officer Matt Marin shot and killed Brian Claunch, a one-armed, one-legged man in a wheelchair who turned out to only have a pen in his hand. Nevertheless, Police Department spokeswoman Jodi Silva insisted that “fearing for his partner’s safety and his own safety, [Marin] discharged his weapon.”
Claunch was threatening people with a pen and “advanced” on Marin’s partner after “trapping” an officer with this wheelchair. Officers warned him to show them his hands and he failed to yield to their commands, according to the police reports.
Claunch had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. He was reportedly upset when one of the caregivers refused to give him a cigarette and a soda.
Police say that Claunch attempted to stab the officer with the pen, but they were not sure what the object was at the time.
This is the second shooting incident for Marin who in October 2009 shot and killed a man with a knife after the suspect had stabbed his girlfriend and a neighbor.
In fairness to the officers, this is a highly disturbed individuals who they say was trying to stab an officer. The question is whether (given the fact that he is a double amputee confined to a wheelchair) it was not possible to subdue him given the multiple officers present at the scene.