DETROIT (AP) — Detroit police have shot to death a man they say was wielding a sword in the middle of a street and who and threw a dagger at an officer, authorities said Thursday.
Police Chief James Craig said after the man was shot late Thursday, he continued to approach officers while swinging the sword. He was able to climb into a police vehicle before he was captured. The unidentified man in his 20s was taken to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Based on a description of the man’s behavior, which included wildly swinging a 32-inch sword, Craig suspected the man may have been experiencing a mental breakdown.
The man charged police officers arriving at the scene, swung the sword and continued to approach officers after they asked him to drop the weapon, Craig said. He said an officer deployed his Taser in an effort to stop the man, which was ineffective because of “protective covering over his torso.”
The man threw an 8-inch dagger, striking an officer below an eye during the confrontation, Craig said. After the man, described as being in his 20s, continued to ignore commands to drop the weapon, the officer’s partner fired a shot that fatally wounded the man.
The incident marks the third police-related fatality in Detroit since July 10, and the fourth officer-involved shooting. In two of the fatalities, video shows suspects pointing pistols at officers.
Craig said the shootings are a result of suspects becoming more brazen recently. He said he’s hearing more reports about aggressive behavior toward officers than at any time since he became chief in 2013.