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Suicide by cop: Latest in disturbing trend left Vallejo police note of apology


A Vallejo police officer was forced to fatally shoot a suspect on Saturday night, who was endangering surrounding citizens and the officer.  Later, a note of apology was found indicating the man had planned his death by the officer’s hand.

The San Jose Mercury News reported that police received a 911 call early Saturday evening reporting an extremely agitated man holding a large knife while standing next to a dark-colored truck parked in a shopping center lot.  The caller said he had been driving past the man when his car was struck by a beer bottle.

Shortly before 6 p.m., a responding officer arrived at the scene.  He easily located the suspect located by his truck.  As the officer exited his vehicle, the man confronted him brandishing a large knife.  The officer also noticed a firearm in the man’s waistband.

A release by Vallejo police stated, “The officer ordered the suspect to drop the knife several times, but the suspect refused to comply and advanced on the officer.  The officer discharged his firearm, striking the suspect.”

A witness to the incident said she was in her car in the parking lot when she saw the police patrol car come up on the suspect and his black truck.  She said she heard around 12 shots fired at the scene.  Another person stated via social media that at least six shots were fired.  Recovered at the scene were the suspect’s knife and firearm.  The firearm was identified later as a replica gun.

The suspect was transported to an area trauma center, where he died shortly after the incident at 7:50 p.m.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, the police located a note during their investigation of the man who “had previous contacts with law enforcement to include gun-related charges.”  During their search, officers found a note which was “a letter of apology for the trouble, which the suspect caused.  In addition, he apologized to the police that were forced to end his life,” police said in the statement.

As standard protocol, the shooting officer has been placed on administrative leave.  California Highway Patrol assisted at the scene.  The Solano County District Attorney’s Office and the Vallejo Police Department has initiated a joint investigation per the Solano County Fatal Incident Protocol.

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