Armed Man Shot by California Police Officer Identified

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
August 17, 2018US News

A California man armed with a knife who rushed at a police officer before being shot by the officer has been identified.

Isaias Aguilar, 22, of Red Bluff, was the assailant in Watsonville, reported KSBW. After being shot at least once in the stomach by officer Matt Williams on Aug. 15, Aguilar was rushed to a trauma center.

The shooting took place around 10:30 a.m. near the Overlook Shopping Center on Main Street, after family members of Aguilar called the police saying he was under the influence of drugs and armed with knives.

He Was Hallucinating

His family said he was hallucinating.

A witness said he saw a police officer approach Aguilar, who was wearing a heavy jacket despite the hot day, but Aguilar ran from him before starting to throw rocks at cars.

A second officer appeared and the police ordered Aguilar to get down on the ground, but he instead removed his jacket, wielded a large kitchen knife, and charged one of the officers.

Alex Reyes, the witness, said that Aguilar came within about 10 feet of Williams before he was shot.

‘He Still Wouldn’t Listen’

“Then boom! He was on the ground screaming ‘Why’d you shooting me? Why’d you [expletive] shoot me?’ He was rolling around in pain. He still wouldn’t listen,” Reyes told KSBW.

“The man was running back and forth, darting through the intersection. Then I saw him charge with a knife, right towards the officer,” another witness, Armando Ramirez, told the Register-Pajaronian.

“I didn’t know what to do. It was pretty terrifying—it all happened really close to me.”

The police said that the officer was forced to shoot.

“When my officers came upon the man in the middle of the street, they saw that he was armed with at least one knife, sounds like he might have been armed with two knives,” Watsonville Police Chief David Honda said, reported KION. “He immediately charged the officer, and the officer was forced to discharge his service weapon.”

Split Second Decision

Honda said it’s a split second decision when someone is rushing towards you with a weapon.

“We have tasers, we have other less lethal devices, but when confronted with a deadly force situation sometimes there’s not enough time, to respond with other tools,” he said.

“I think it was within under 30 seconds that shots were reported fired.”

Williams will be placed on leave as investigators probe his use of force.

Aguilar was listed in stable condition on Aug. 16.

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