The Associated Press reports that a police officer shot and killed a one-armed, one-legged wheelchair-bound man at a Houston group home on Saturday. Police say the man, who has not been named, cornered Officer Matthew Jacob Marin and made threats while trying to stab him with a metal object, which turned out to be a pen.
“Fearing for his partner’s safety and his own safety, [Marin] discharged his weapon,” police spokeswoman Jodi Silva told the Associated Press.
She said the man came “within inches to a foot” of the officer and did not follow instructions to calm down and remain still.
Police did not immediately release the name of the man who was killed. They had been called to the home after a caretaker there called and reported that the man in wheelchair was causing a disturbance.
The owner of the group home, John Garcia, told the Houston Chronicle that the man had a history of mental illness and had been living at the house about 18 months. Garcia said the man had told him that he lost a leg above the knee and all of one arm when he was hit by a train.
“He sometimes would go off a bit, but you just ignore it,” Garcia told the newspaper.
It’s tough to say without having been there, but we’re having a really hard time picturing how hard it could possibly be to escape from or subdue (without killing) a man with such serious disabilities. Hopefully the Houston Police Department is looking into that question this week. Marin, a five-year veteran of the department, was placed on three-day administrative leave, which is standard in all shootings involving officers.