SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — San Jose police released new details Tuesday on a deadly officer-involved shooting that happened on Halloween. The victim had a history of mental health problems.
The shooting happened near the intersection of McKee and Jackson Avenue at about 2:30 p.m. last Thursday.
Reports said a man holding up what appeared to be a handgun was walking towards a group of Independence High School students who had just been let out of school.
Police Chief Eddie Garcia said the man had tucked the weapon in his waistband and then took it out. Garcia said that’s when an officer shot the suspect once with a rifle from 120 feet away.
“With the officer’s fear of the suspect getting closer to the high school, with all that’s been happening with active shooters in this country. He felt that he had to act quickly in order to save lives,” Garcia said.
The suspect was identified as 33-year-old Francis Ray Colonge. Police say he was holding an airsoft replica of a semi-automatic handgun that looked like an actual firearm.
(Note: The featured video in this article says the replica gun resembled an automatic handgun when it actually resembled a semi-automatic weapon.)
Police also say Colonge had a criminal history that included robbery, obstructing an officer, battery and brandishing weapons.
Police say he also had a history of six mental health holds and two previous instances where he stated to family members that he wanted to die from suicide by cop.
“In January of 2017, family members called police to report getting text messages from the suspect stating he wanted to commit suicide by cop and that quote, ‘This time they will not shoot me with a rubber bullet,'” Garcia said.
It was the third fatal officer involved shooting this year, down from a high of 5 OISs in 2015. Police say the officer involved, Edward Carboni, is a four year veteran of police work and was also involved in another fatal shooting this past May.
He was cleared in that case and was back on the job when the Halloween incident happened.
“My heart goes out to the family. This incident and loss of life are examples of the tremendous need for additional mental health services, drug treatment and intervention in our community,” Garcia said.