SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A man shot by a Sacramento Police SWAT team was armed with a pellet gun that resembled a real handgun, Sacramento Police said on Thursday.
A SWAT team was called out to find a man wearing a mask was observed pointing a gun on Wednesday night. The suspect was found early Thursday morning and was shot when officers say he pointed the gun at them.
Officers found the man was armed with a knife and a pellet gun that was described as a replica of a Sig Sauer P225 9mm handgun. The pellet gun had no distinctive orange ring or any other markings that would distinguish it from a real gun.
California law requires a “blaze orange ring” on the barrel of any “imitation firearm,” which is any device that looks substantially similar to an existing firearm. The ring is meant to make it easier for officers to identify whether or not someone is armed with a real gun or a replica gun.
Photos from the scene supplied by Sacramento Police show the pellet gun lacks any kind of marking, though it’s unclear if it was removed, painted over or if it was on there at all in the first place.
Police received reports of a man in the area of Broadway and 16th Street walking with a mask and a gun at around 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday night. The caller said the man had pointed the gun at numerous people. A police helicopter spotted the man, who fled. At the time officers say they also saw the suspect had a gun.
Police set up a perimeter and called in SWAT and K9 Teams, which arrived an hour later around 12:42 a.m. on Thursday morning. The search for the suspect didn’t begin for nearly another hour after that at 1:36 a.m.
Officers say they found the suspect hiding under a stairwell at around 3:12 a.m. and ordered him to drop his weapon. The man pointed pellet gun at officers, who opened fire, believing it was a real handgun. The man was pronounced dead at the scene.
The man’s identity has not been released, pending notification of next of kin.
The officers who fired have been placed on administrative leave. They have 11 and 17 years experience with the Sacramento Police Department.
Sacramento Police policy requires video and audio of the incident to be released with in the next 30 days.