Orosi, CA – Deputies fatally shot a disturbed 26-year-old man on Thursday after he attacked them with a machete (video below).
The incident began shortly before 3:50 pm on May 3 when family members called 911 to report that Anthony Trujillo, whom they described as schizophrenic, was “acting erratic,” the Visalia Times Delta reported.
Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said Trujillo’s mother described him as being “off his medication,” but said they didn’t know what medication the man was supposed to be taking.
In the bodycam video released by authorities, a woman can be heard talking to deputies as they arrive at the home.
“Let us go talk to him and see what we can do. As my partner tried to explain, we can’t force somebody to go unless he meets criteria. If he meets it, then cool,” an officer explained to her.
“He needs it. He needs it!” the woman assured the officer.
“Whether he needs it and what we can do are separate things,” the officer replied.
In the video, the officers entered the home and approached a door and knocked.
“Anthony, hey man. You mind if we come in and talk to you?” an officer asked.
“No,” the man said clearly from behind the door.
“Oh okay, you don’t mind?” the officer replied as he opened the door.
In the video, Trujillo immediately advanced on the deputy. Police said he was holding a machete in the air, and he struck the first officer in the head with it.
The officer was hit in the head and the stomach with the machete, before the other deputy fired his weapon at Trujillo to “protect their lives and stop the assault,” the sheriff said.
“The deputy saw his partner’s life was in danger,” Sheriff Boudreaux explained, according to The Fresno Bee.
The officer who was hit with the machete was also shot in the hand by crossfire, according to the Visalia Times Delta.
He was transported to Kaweah Delta Medical Center, and was expected to recover, authorities said.
“We had a deputy who received non-life threatening injuries and is now at the hospital,” Corporate Ixchel Franks said.
Trujillo was fatally shot and died at the scene. Deputies fired six rounds and hit Trujillo with all of them, the Visalia Times Delta reported.
Neighbors told reporters that Trujillo was prone to mental episodes. He had a history with law enforcement that went back to 2013, according to the Visalia Times Delta.
His sister, Cynthia Trujillo, said her brother had just moved to the area from Dinuba a couple of months ago, and that the police in that town had regularly arranged for her brother to get mental health services when his mother called them, The Fresno Bee reported.
She told The Fresno Bee that if she could change one thing about the incident, she might have advised her mother not to call 911 about her brother’s manic episode.
Cynthia said mental health services advised the family to call police when her brother was having an “episode,” and that it had worked when they lived in Dinuba.
“There were other ways deputies could have put him down if he was not cooperating, and honestly, I think officers need to be trained better when dealing with people with mental illness,” she said.
Neighbor Andrea Cuevas was home when the gunfire erupted on Thursday afternoon but said she was inside and didn’t hear anything.
“I didn’t hear any gunshots,” Cuevas said. “I got a text that something happened on my street.”
The neighborhood has been known for gang violence and drugs, and residents told the Visalia Times Delta they were surprised to learn no drugs and gangs were involved in the incident that left a neighbor dead.
Watch the man explode at officers with his machete in the video below: