A police officer shot and killed a parolee Monday moments after the man stabbed his on-and-off girlfriend to death in southwest Fresno, Chief Jerry Dyer said.
The chaotic scene played out around noon in a subsidized housing tract on El Dorado Street, near Fink-White Playground and just west of Highway 99. Immediately after the shooting, officers and emergency workers tried to save both people before they were pronounced dead.
At a Monday afternoon news conference, Dyer described what officers say happened:
Neighbors told the first two officers to arrive that a 47-year-old man and a 45-year-old woman were arguing inside an apartment. The two had thrown a 3-year-old child outside during the incident; the child wasn't hurt.
As the officers approached the door of the apartment, they heard the woman inside screaming and the man saying he had a knife and would stab her. The officers knocked on the front door, and the man warned that if the officers went inside, he'd kill the woman.
A few seconds later, officers couldn't hear the woman screaming anymore. That's when the man said, "It's too late."
The officers kicked open the door to find the woman lying in the living room, which was in complete disarray, with multiple stab wounds to her chest.
There was a confrontation between the officers and the man, and one of the officers fired four rounds at him.
The identities of the man and the woman were not immediately released pending notification of next of kin.
Investigators found a bloody 8- to 10-inch butcher knife, blade bent, in the apartment; Dyer said it's believed to be what the man used to stab the woman.
Dyer said the investigation is ongoing, but records show officers responded to the apartment in February, when they arrested the man for alleged domestic violence involving the same woman. He also was sentenced to 12 years in prison around 2001 or 2002 for assault with a deadly weapon and was on parole, Dyer said.
Dyer said the man may have been the subject of another domestic violence report involving another woman.
Dyer said investigators were trying to determine how Monday's incident began, but there was another woman in the apartment before police arrived. Police are working to contact her, Dyer said.
Police were still trying to determine who the 3-year-old's guardian is, but the child was in good condition.
Dyer said the officer who fired the shots is a veteran of the force. He was placed on administrative leave with pay pending an investigation, and both officers who responded to the incident will be interviewed and meet with a psychologist.
The officer who fired the shots will also undergo re-entry training and have a companion officer when he returns to patrol, Dyer said.
"What he just went through was extremely traumatic," Dyer said. "Unfortunately, within less than a minute of when officers arrived, this female was dead."
Staff writer Jim Guy contributed to this report. The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6679 or firstname.lastname@example.org.