Grandview, MO – A 60-year-old man wielding two samurai swords was fatally shot by police on Sunday, after less-lethal force failed to stop him from charging at officers, police said.
The Grandview Police Department received a call from the man’s wife, Jessica San Nicolas, at approximately 3 p.m. on July 1, WDAF reported.
“When they called it in, they indicated that the individual was acting despondent, and acting irrational and violent,” Missouri Highway Patrol Sergeant Bill Lowe told The Kansas City Star.
When police arrived, they learned that 60-year-old Larry San Nicolas was still inside the residence, but his family members had gotten out of the home.
“The officers attempted to speak to the male… and when he came out of the residence, he came out of the residence with two… Samurai-type swords,” Sgt. Lowe explained.
Cellphone footage recorded by a neighbor showed that Grandview police issued commands to the irate man and ordered him to drop his weapons.
“Larry! Both hands in the air!” an officer yelled through an intercom in the video shown on WDAF. “Drop the sword! Drop the sword!”
When San Nicolas failed to comply, one officer fired two less-lethal beanbag rounds in a futile attempt to subdue the aggravated man.
“Those both struck that individual and did not have an effect,” Sgt. Lowe told The Kansas City Star. “For somebody to take a couple of beanbag rounds to his torso and continue on, that shows an amazing desire to continue his threat.”
San Nicolas continued to “rush towards the officers in a threatening manner,” so a second Grandview police officer opened fire, the sergeant said.
Witnesses said they heard approximately six shots, WDAF reported.
The officers administered first aid at the scene until medical personnel arrived, Sgt. Lowe said.
San Nicolas was rushed to a local hospital, where he later died.
An autopsy was performed on Monday, which will help to determine if San Nicolas was under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the incident, WDAF reported.
The report should also indicate whether he was experiencing a medical emergency when he died.
San Nicolas’ family argued that his wife Jessica only called police to help calm her husband down, and to convince him to take the medication he needed in order to control his diabetes.
“His sugar levels had to have been very high,” Jessica told WDAF. “He was erratic.”
“If I didn’t call them, he wouldn’t be dead,” she continued. “Now, I feel guilt because instead of getting help, he’s dead.”
San Nicolas’ son, Frank Arceo, said that officers should have taken cover behind a patrol vehicle to protect themselves from his sword-wielding father.
“To me, when you’re behind cover and you open fire with an AR-15, and you shoot him in the gut, those rounds are meant to kill,” Arceo said. “They’re not meant to stop you.”
“What happened to wound him? What happened to Taser? They didn’t take the time,” Jessica added.
Arceo said that San Nicolas was on Medicare and disability, and that he sometimes did not have the money to buy his insulin. Without the medication, he tended to become argumentative and manic and blacked out, Arceo said.
San Nicolas was also an Army veteran, his son said.
Investigators do not believe that San Nicolas had a history of criminal offenses, according to WDAF.
The Missouri Highway Patrol is handling the ongoing investigation, Sgt. Lowe told The Kansas City Star.
The two officers involved in the incident are both 10-year veterans of the department, and were uninjured in the altercation, he said.