WALNUT CREEK (KCBS) – The Walnut Creek Police Department is shedding new light on the events immediately preceding a fatal shooting involving officers last month; the first officer involved shooting in that city since 2001.
According to authorities, a frantic 911 call was made to the Walnut Creek Police Department in the pre-dawn hours of Dec. 27, 2012.
“The dispatcher heard a struggle and screaming before the line went dead,” Joel Bryden, Chief of Police, described in a news conference Monday afternoon. “Officers arrived within minutes and heard screaming from inside the apartment.”
According to Bryden, four officers entered the unit and saw Anthony Banta Jr., 22, at the top of a staircase, holding a 10 in. knife. Banta was said to be “extremely agitated” and refused officers’ repeated commands to drop the weapon.
“Mr. Banta suddenly charged down the stairs towards the officers with the knife in his hand,” Bryden explained. “The officers fired their guns at Mr. Banta in self defense.”
Banta was pronounced dead at the scene.
Bryden said two other people in the apartment, who knew Banta, had locked themselves inside a bedroom.
All four officers involved in the incident were placed on administrative leave, but have subsequently returned to work.
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