Los Angeles County investigators on Monday said deputies shot and killed a man who was advancing towards them with a machete after holding the weapon to a woman’s throat.
The shooting unfolded in Whittier – about 20 miles east of Los Angles – after a caller reported a man banging and screaming on a neighbor’s door while holding the knife, according to the sheriff's department.
Responding deputies said they found the suspect inside the home. Family members identified him as 37-year-old Antonio “Tonito” Vasquez, who they said had a history of mental illness.
A mental evaluation team with the sheriff’s department initially spoke with the suspect and determined he was no longer a threat, Fox 11 reported. Deputies and the mental health team determined he had committed no crime and left the scene.
However, police received another 911 call 30 minutes later. The caller reportedly told cops that Vasquez said he wanted officers to shoot him.
Responding deputies found the suspect in the garage, holding the knife to a woman’s throat, Fox 11 reported. He allegedly advanced towards them and they ordered him to drop the weapon, the station added. LASD said three of the four deputies opened fire. Vasquez was pronounced dead at the scene.
Sheriff’s Lt. Derrick Alfred told KABC “there was no time at that point for a mental evaluation team. Action had to be taken.”
The three deputies were placed on administrative leave, pending an investigation. Neither the deputies nor the woman was injured in the incident.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.