WALNUT CREEK (CBS SF) — Family and neighbors were grasping for answers Monday after a deadly police shooting in the East Bay that left a young man with mental illness dead.
Walnut Creek police officers opened fire on a 23-year-old Walnut Creek resident Miles Hall as charged at them with a crowbar early Sunday evening. Authorities are calling the incident a tragedy.
The shooting happened despite the family’s warning to police dispatchers about his mental illness before the confrontation.
Neighbors who knew Hall were shaken by the fatal incident.
“We don’t know what went down at the very end. [We’re] heartbroken,” said area resident Jenny Schneider.
Neighbors said has struggled with mental illness for years, and sometimes had outbursts. They say his parents were constantly updating friends and neighbors about how Miles was doing, even sending out emails.
“His parents have said, ‘Be aware that our son has this mental condition and don’t be afraid,'” said neighbor Eldon Hawksworth.
But Walnut Creek police said that at around 4:41 p.m. Sunday afternoon, Hall’s grandmother called 911 saying her grandson was threatening her.
One minute later a neighbor called and said heard fighting and a possible gunshot coming from a home on Sandra Court.
Six minutes after the first emergency call, police said Hall’s mother called 911 saying her son was being violent, smashing a window and threatening her with a metal pole with a pointed end.
Police said she told dispatch her son had mental health problems and would be aggressive with officers. But neighbors saw the gentler side of Miles growing up.
“He is in his young 20s; grew up in the neighborhood. I’ve known him since he was four. He has a heart of gold and is just an amazing kid,” said area resident Lisa Angus.
Police said when they arrived to the scene, Hall was walking on Arlene Lane holding a pry bar. Police said they ordered him to drop the bar, but instead he started running towards them.
Police initially fired multiple rounds of bean bags, but Hall kept charging at them. That was when two officers fired their handguns at him, fatally wounding the 23 year old. He was transported to John Muir Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The Contra Costa County coroner identified Hall Monday.
The officers involved have been placed on paid administrative leave. Authorities said they are continuing to review all footage connected to the incident. Walnut Creek police said they will release body cam video in the next couple of days.
Police are also going through interviews with family members and witnesses from the scene. They hope to provide an update to their investigation on Tuesday.
The incident was the first officer-involved shooting in Walnut Creek in seven years.