Fresno police officers shot and killed a man Wednesday night as he stood over his brother with a knife and threatened to kill him, Fresno police Chief Jerry Dyer said early Thursday morning.
The two brothers, ages 22 and 25 who have not been named, were fighting right before 10 p.m. in front of their home in the 900 block of East Tulare Street when officers arrived. One brother was holding an 8- to-10-inch carving knife and appeared intent on stabbing him, a witness told Dyer.
"The officers yelled at them and told them to get on the ground," Dyer said.
"One of the brothers did get on the ground, but the other brother who was armed with a knife did not and he continued to advance towards his brother. At one point he held the knife over his head and came towards him -- this is what prompted the officers to fire. ... It's unfortunate any time our officers have to use deadly force, but there are times they have to use that in order to protect the lives of people."
Dyer said the shooting remains under investigation, but he believes one officer fired nine times and the other fired eight times. Officers administered CPR, but the man died at the scene, Dyer said.
The chief said the surviving brother told investigators that his younger brother with the knife had said, "God forgive me for what I'm about to do" just before they came outside.
He said the brothers reportedly had been drinking since 4 p.m. before they began to argue. The brothers were at what appeared to be a boarding house where they rented a room, Dyer said. When officers arrived, both brothers were bloody.
Both officers involved in the shooting were put on paid administrative leave, which Dyer said is standard practice.
A protest of the officer-involved shooting is planned by some community groups for 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday in the FoodMaxxx shopping center at Fresno and C streets.
Regarding the planned protest, Dyer said, "I understand and appreciate why people sometimes feel the need to protest, perhaps because they don't know all the facts and perhaps because they just don't know how else to voice their frustration."