WINTERS (CBS13) — Amid a nationwide call for an end to police brutality, police officers in Winters showed incredible restraint this past Sunday.
In a startling video that you’ll see only on CBS13, Winters police officers come face-to-face with a 17-year-old who was armed with a knife and a gun. In the video, officers can be heard negotiating with the teen.
“Put the knife down kid. Come on put the knife down,” an officer said. “Come on, man. Come on, dude. Come on man, you don’t want to do this.”
Winters Police Chief John Miller said the suspect was banging on the lobby door while screaming and yelling. The teen also reportedly threatened several times that he wanted to kill the officers, Miller said.
Officers waited for backup inside the police department lobby while trying to calm the teenager.
“I know you have some mental health issues but we can work through this,” an officer said.
But in a split-second, things took a turn for the worse and the suspect pulled a gun out of his pocket.
In a video released by the department, an officer can be heard saying “He has a gun, he has a gun. Put it down dude. Come on man. Come on.”
Chief Miller says the suspect briefly showed the handgun before putting it back in his pocket, never pointing it at officers. He says the glass lobby doors gave officers precious seconds to keep everyone alive.
“Had they not had that barrier, obviously, it may have very well ended differently,” Miller said.
Miller says his officers rely on their training in times of crisis and touts his officers’ compassion and ability to de-escalate the situation.
“It’s not always shooting your gun it’s trying to communicate trying to consider other options including less-lethal options,” Chief Miller said. “There’s no animosity in them. Most people who get into the profession get into it because of that compassion for people. No officer wants to be placed in the circumstance to take another person’s life. Those moments stick with you.”
The teen ran when he heard the siren of an approaching Yolo County Sheriff’s Department unit, officers say. Officers immediately started chasing after him.
Officers found the teen along Aster Way and tried to stop him with a stun gun, but it didn’t take him down. At one point during the ensuing struggle with the teen, a deputy opened fire. The teen was not hit, police say, and he was eventually taken into custody but still continued to resist.
Two Winters police officers suffered minor injuries during the struggle, police say.
The 17-year-old was initially charged with resisting an officer by threat or violence and assault with a deadly weapon. Officers recovered the knife the teen was holding and also found that handgun he threw into the bushes was actually a replica Glock pistol.
More from CBS Sacramento: