A man with a knife holding his family members captive in a house was shot and killed by Waco police when officers entered the house Friday morning and the man ignored commands to drop the knife, Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said.
Police responded to calls shortly after 8:30 a.m. from a house in the 3800 block of Speight Avenue, where a man was reportedly hitting and breaking things in the house, Swanton said. Family members felt threatened and called police, he said.
“It was one of those calls that as the information continued to come in while officers were en route to the call that additional officers would need to be responding as well due to the intensity and nature of the call,” Swanton said. “Family members were saying the individual in the home was ‘freaking out and breaking things in the home.’”
Three officers arrived at the home at the same time, and two officers entered the house. Officers saw a man pointing a handgun at a man who was armed with a knife, Swanton said.
“(The man with the handgun) was trying to protect himself from the other individual in the home that was threatening family members,” Swanton said. “The individual that confronted the officers was actually holding his family members in the house and was not letting them out.”
Family members said the man with the gun told officers he was trying to get the man with the knife to calm down and put down the weapon. Before officers entered the house, they had received a report that a firearm had been discharged, but no injuries were initially reported, according to police.
The man with the handgun was not considered a threat based on information at the scene, Swanton said.
One of the officers felt threatened by the knife-wielding man after family members and police told him to put down the weapon. The man with the knife was shot, and officers provided medical aid while calling for an ambulance, Swanton said.
The suspect died soon after he was shot, Swanton said. Justice of the Peace W.H. “Pete” Peterson pronounced the man dead inside the home late Friday morning.
Calling the incident a “fluid situation,” Swanton said an officer-involved shooting investigation is underway involving the police department’s special crimes unit and the Texas Rangers. No other family members or officers were injured.
“I was driving on Speight (Avenue), and police were zooming passed me. I didn’t realize they were police until they flashed his lights at me,” said Te’Ayrra Evans, a neighbor who was taking her daughter to child care Friday morning. “When I got to the school, people were telling me that they heard gunshots, so I rushed her in, and as I was coming back home, more police were rushing by.”
Evans’ mother, Mary Major, was at her house when she heard and saw police. Both women stood at the corner of Columbia Street and Speight Avenue, concerned about the heavy police presence in their usually quiet neighborhood.
“This is crazy because she has been over here for three or four years and she could literally leave her door open, because it is so quiet over here,” Major said. “There are no problems over here. People wave at you, and this is just crazy that this is happening.”
Swanton said the identity of the man killed by police will not be released until Monday to allow time for family members to be notified. The incident remains under investigation, he said.