Police Officer Fatally Shoots Man With Knife

Confrontation Near Victoria and De La Vina Streets Turns Deadly

Monday, September 2, 2013
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A Santa Barbara police officer shot and killed a man Sunday night who advanced on the officer with a large knife and refused to comply with orders to stop and drop the weapon, Lt. Todd Stoney said in a media release Monday afternoon.

According to Stoney, the officer tried to make contact with the man walking in the area of Victoria and De La Vina streets at around 11:30 p.m. when “[a] shooting incident involving the officer occurred.” The officer wasn’t injured, but the suspect died at the scene, Stoney said. The name of the suspect has not been released, and it’s not clear how many shots were fired or how many times the man was hit.

Stoney wasn’t immediately available for questions, and police spokesperson Sgt. Riley Harwood said in a phone interview that no additional details on the shooting are being released since the investigation is still in its very early stages. As with any officer-involved shooting, Harwood explained, the SBPD will conduct its own in-depth review, and it’s likely the District Attorney’s Office will as well.

Check back for updates.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Stoney huh? Doesn't sound like such a bad guy..

Byrd (anonymous profile)
September 2, 2013 at 8:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Perfect. Another "officer involved shooting" that will be swept aside by Joyce Dudley, among whose constituents are the police union.
Here's a question: aren't SBPD trained in anything other than trigger-pulling? How about negotiations with people who are clearly out of their gourd/under the influence? How about backing up when confronted with a knife-wielder for a few moments while police backup is summoned? How about simply physically disarming the drunk-druggie-nutjob? Unless the drunk-druggie-nutjob is a U.S. Navy Seal with a knife, anyone of reasonable athletic ability serving on the SBPD should have been trained in some basic hand-to-hand sufficient to have disarmed this guy.
Can't wait to see what the shooting distance was. Less than six feet? If not, what was the real threat (remember, each street cop is wearing a kevlar vest, impervious to fatal knife wounds)? If so, why not just take a step forward and take the knife away? If a cop can't do that, he belongs behind a desk, not out on the streets.
Sigh. Another episode of county law enforcement protocols proving once again that this among the most dangerous places in the state.

Beachgirl77 (anonymous profile)
September 2, 2013 at 9:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Bad guy with a knife shot dead. Next.

lawdy (anonymous profile)
September 2, 2013 at 10:07 p.m. (Suggest removal)

SBPD - 1 ; Jerks with knives - 0

Good message for SB to keep sending out, until we can all feel safe walking in our own neighborhoods. Thank you SBPD for doing what you are trained and authorized to do - serve and protect.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
September 2, 2013 at 10:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Sorry Byrd. You are truly incorrect. Search 21 Ft Knife rule on google and you will understand. You watch too many movies. Make sure the person on video has gun in holster.

FuriousFrenzys (anonymous profile)
September 2, 2013 at 11:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Oh Beachgirl77...... If only you knew how ignorant you sound. The sad part is how insensitive you are. This officer did what he was trained to do and went home safe to his family. He possibly saved other innocent lives as well....and now because of this, he will have nightmares and be forever changed by this horrible experience. Shame on you for not showing any respect for the lives affected by this situation that he didn't ask for.

goodprevails (anonymous profile)
September 2, 2013 at 11:29 p.m. (Suggest removal)

How about shooting the guy in the leg rather than to kill?

blackpoodles (anonymous profile)
September 2, 2013 at 11:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Even you know that cops are NEVER taught to shoot to wound, thank Gawd. All cops and all perps and everyone in between knows that if you come at a cop with a deadly weapon you deserve to be shot dead. Read the witness comments that amazingly do not support any other version of this story.

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
September 3, 2013 at 7:09 a.m. (Suggest removal)

What are you talking about FF I was commenting on the officers name, what are you smoking?

Byrd (anonymous profile)
September 3, 2013 at 7:10 a.m. (Suggest removal)

So, the police will investigate themselves, determining why one of their own fired 4-5 shots, killing a man with a 6-inch-long knife. They probably will call in the state police, but this calls out for a civilian police review board. In the same way there is oversight of County government operations via the civilian Grand Jury, the City needs a civilian Police Review Board. How do we get one?

at_large (anonymous profile)
September 3, 2013 at 7:40 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Why not Taser? Doesn't sound like a "righteous shoot" to me, but I'm sure Dudley will decline to charge, or maybe even decline to investigate. Gotta have those police union votes...

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
September 3, 2013 at 8:42 a.m. (Suggest removal)

If you carry a weapon, and you don't follow police orders by putting your weapon down, you might die.

End of story.

zuma7 (anonymous profile)
September 3, 2013 at 9:38 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Oh great, so now we don't have a justice system anymore, police can just give the death penalty to people who they could take out with less force? What happened to trial by jury? I really wish that everybody who is on the cops side would just move out of this country voluntarily because you obviously missed your education about what a real justice system is.

JohnLocke is right, this was when the tazer should be used. They use tazers on innocent non-violent protesters which is absolutely wrong as a tazer can potentially cause death - however - if you are in a close confrontational situation with police and do not have a gun, this is when a tazer should be used.

I'd like to add something else - I heard a story recently where two cops were unlawfully arresting Person A and Person A was resisting - Person B comes along and sees the unlawful arrest occurring, kills one cop and injures the other. Person A and Person B are found innocent of any wrongdoing because Person B was actually preventing an unlawful kidnapping of Person A.

This is greater cause for celebration in a society that is really border lining on police state, and I won't tell you what side of the border I think we are on.

So what if this guy with the knife was simply preventing an unlawful kidnapping of himself? Does he not get the chance to defend himself in a court of law? This is why police should not be using deadly force unless their life is truly threatened. They do not get to play Judge, Jury and Executioner. Since he could have easily used a tazer to take this guy out, his life was not threatened.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
September 3, 2013 at 12:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The next time I am stopping an illegal kidnapping, as opposed to the legal type of kidnapping, I shall drop my knife when ordered to by a cop.

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
September 3, 2013 at 4:04 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Legal kidnapping would be any time somebody is arrested for drugs or prostitution - victimless crimes where nobody was hurt that cause authorities to legally detain you in a cage. Illegal kidnapping by authorities would be if it was an unlawful detainment which may including searching without probable cause or using some other illegal procedure in arresting them.

It would be 100% moral for an individual hypothetically to protect an innocent victim from being 'legally' kidnapped and thrown into a cage - up to and including defending your life from the perpetrators (aka cops) - but it is very risky, you will probably end up dead without any justice. And of course I can't technically advocate doing so because technically drugs are illegal and so I would be advocating that people kill police for arresting drug users which is a legal activity. So I'm not advocating anything, I'm merely making a philosophical judgement on whether such actions are moral or immoral, just to be clear.

But you can imagine an officer arresting someone for smoking pot, another person coming up to protect the potsmoker from being kidnapped and thrown into a rape cage and ending up killing the officer in their own self defense - that would be morally justified but the person who killed the cop would end up dead or in prison so I don't know if that is the most effective use for activists who fight for individual rights.

But I do think that police should think a lot harder about what laws they are enforcing and whether they are helping protect individuals' life, rights and privacy or whether they are destroying those rights.

I know I could not be a police officer in good conscious these days, but if you find yourself a police officer who is waking up to this kind of stuff I recommend joining the Oath Keepers.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
September 3, 2013 at 6:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Serve and protect is a vital part of our justice system as we have chosen to set it up. The police are doing fine. Post-incident investigations are good and proper.

Don't like this system, then find another community where there is a legal justice system more to your liking. I like a system that sends the message if you come at a cop with a knife, you won't live to tell about it.

Self-defense has a long, necessary and proper legal history. Police officers have the right to self-defense just like any other person has that same right,, and will continue to have that right as long as we operate as a civilization. A cop does not lose his/her rights just because he/she puts on a uniform. Think about this for a while before you keep spouting off about "police brutality".

The knife wielder must have been sleeping through his civics classes if he missed the lecture about self-defense.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
September 3, 2013 at 7:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Well said foofighter! I agree 100%!

m2457 (anonymous profile)
September 3, 2013 at 9:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The officer did exactly what (s)he was trained for. For those who don't believe that, sign up for a ride-along or the citizen's academy to learn a bit about what these officers are really up against. Like others said, it ain't TV.

karenbug (anonymous profile)
September 3, 2013 at 10:19 p.m. (Suggest removal)

What planet are you on loonpt?? You need to get your facts straight in a hurry before you "philosophically" advocate killing a cop who was arresting someone for smoking pot.... In California, it's a non-bookable infraction to smoke/possess marijuana without a medical recommendation. Which means you could get a warning or a ticket just like running a stop sign. Get back on your meds bro! Let the grown ups do the heavy lifting for a while....Geez!

goodprevails (anonymous profile)
September 3, 2013 at 10:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

foofighter, your post is semi-correct but logically incomplete. Your statement is correct ONLY if a person RANDOMLY assaults a police officer who is doing no harm to any individuals or their rights. If they then assault an officer with a knife and killing the individual is the only course of action that protects the officer then yes the officer has rights of self defense just as any other individual has.

What we don't know, and may not find out even with further investigation, is why the officer approached the suspects and what was the altercation that caused the incident. If the person had a felony batter 20 years ago in a bar fight and felony drug dealing 10 years ago and they had drugs on them then a third strike could land them life in prison. It's called desperation. If you don't want to be on the other end of that kind of desperation then I suggest you stop enforcing these kind of laws that this system has in place. It's just logical. Not just for your own safety, but if NOBODY enforced unjust laws then unjust laws wouldn't exist and wouldn't that be great?

Also of interest is this guy's relationship with the prison industrial complex. Once they have you in the system it's really hard to get out. Part of that is because prisons are very profitable and privately run, so the prison industrial complex lobbies for laws that keep as many people in prison as possible including the war on drugs.

I highly recommend the drama series "Orange is the New Black". It's about a normal whole foods fiance who goes to prison for a drug offense 10 years prior. It may or may not portray female prison life well, but it does have a lot of important lessons about how the prison industrial complex is designed to ruin the lives of everybody it touches from the enforcers to the prisoners and keep them all in the system and drag everybody down.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
September 3, 2013 at 10:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Locking a person in a cage for possessing a plant that can't kill you, treats dozens of serious medical conditions better than any prescription drug, proven to shrink cancer = good prevails???

Sorry, I guess I am on the wrong planet. I guess I'll go back to my "loon" planet.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
September 3, 2013 at 10:48 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Hey everybody! Lighten up on loon, he taught us all that there is legal kidnapping. Next I wanna hear about legal bank robbing and legal 1st degree murder...

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
September 4, 2013 at 6:43 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Legal bank robbing - The banks are the robbers, banks are able to create money out of thin air and loan it out at interest!! Imagine how rich your or I could be if we had the ability to legally counterfeit money and then loan it out at interest? This is in fact stealing from everybody who has savings or has a fixed income by increasing prices on everything we buy from energy to housing to food and stocks.

Legal 1st degree murder - Have you heard of our foreign policy and drone strike policies? Have you heard of a 'double-tap' where the drones come by and strike the target - then wait 5 or 10 minutes for the emergency crews and families to show up and then hit the target again, causing massive amounts of innocent civilian casualties? Legal 1st degree murder.

One interesting thing you should know about war - we go to war for 2 reasons - the foreign leader(s) of the country we are attacking are not agreeing to the global oil cartel's demands on oil contracts or pipelines - the foreign leaders are attempting to shift away from trading in 'petro-dollars' or do not have or are attempting to get rid of their IMF sponsored central bank where they can counterfeit money for their population. This is why millions of innocent people die in wars, so the current power elite can expand their control.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
September 4, 2013 at 8:36 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Have to agree with Beachgirl, blackpoodles and at_large. If I had a taser, a baton, pepper spray ,a gun and a bullet proof vest, that also helps against knives, I think I could have taken him down without without killing him. These LEO's are also supposed to have some physical training, but I wonder about that. This sounds like a rookie move. 4 or 5 shots to the chest at 20 feet? Wonder how many times supercop missed? WOW. Maybe they should have broken out the machine guns, mortars and the Bear Claw!! RRRAAAAARRRRRR!!!!!!

Seems the guy had some mental issues and needed help rather than to be taken down. Take a few steps back cop, a deep breath... call for back up.. nah just waste em right? Then there is this issue of complete lack of oversight/follow up. Zero checks and balances in this town with the POA. I see this being brushed under the rug and going away quickly.

Understood there are a lot of gang banger knuckleheads in this town, but they usually don't/ever take on cops. Sounds like the cop hit the panic button/trigger. And yes I am arm chair quarterbacking because I can and evidently this is the only forum to do it on. There certainly won't be any review internally that would be brought out into the open.

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
September 4, 2013 at 10:04 a.m. (Suggest removal)

bimbo, who knew you were a hand to hand combat veteran.

lawdy (anonymous profile)
September 4, 2013 at 10:19 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Hiiiiiiiiiiiiii YAH!

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
September 4, 2013 at 10:27 a.m. (Suggest removal)

i guess my point is you're not.

lawdy (anonymous profile)
September 4, 2013 at 10:59 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The NSA lists bimbo as a lethal weapon...Guns don't kill people, bimboteskie's kill people...

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
September 4, 2013 at 11:01 a.m. (Suggest removal)

@ Beachgirl77, "Can't wait to see what the shooting distance was. Less than six feet? If not, what was the real threat (remember, each street cop is wearing a kevlar vest, impervious to fatal knife wounds)?". The procedure for Armed (Knife) suspect is less than 21 feet, is within the Kill Zone for anyone possessing a gun for defense, take down is mandatory with or with out a verbal warning. This is what we Protection Officers (security guards) are taught as the basics in our Firearms courses and only a some of us wear those bullet resistant vests. Even with a vest, doesn't necessarily stops a knife attack unless the Officer is also wearing his Ceramic coated Steel Rifle plate, capable of stopping a 308 Caliber (7.62mm) Full metal jacketed rifle round. A knife is not spinning a at a high rate of sprawling speed but is a thrusting pointed object capable of penetrating the fibers of the ballistic vest, besides, the vest does not cover arms, legs, head all areas that a trained knife wielding attacker can use to wound or disable a Law Enforcement Officer and take his gun to become an even larger threat to all of us. We don't know the particulars of the incident, just what the reporter got from their sources so hold that thought of poor knife-fighter until the final report comes out, who knows maybe the guy was with Black-Ops in Iraq and can take out a person with a knife or a ballpoint pen?

dou4now (anonymous profile)
September 4, 2013 at 11:55 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Too bad we can't give Beachgirl the opportunity to take a large knife away from a suspect coming at her without using lethal force.

Botany (anonymous profile)
September 4, 2013 at 12:11 p.m. (Suggest removal)

'this is among the most dangerous places in the state'...beachgirl.

at least you are not being ridiculous.

lawdy (anonymous profile)
September 4, 2013 at 12:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)

While I can usually understand why a cop would go lethal when a person is armed with a gun, but to kill a person with a knife?
Imagine what would happen to a thinking cop who used disarming force instead of killing the knife-wielder? Would he be punished for not obeying protocol? Would he be chastised by fellow officers? I'd really like to hear from a cop on this matter.

ROSCOE (anonymous profile)
September 4, 2013 at 12:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I am also curious on the 20ft, or 21f rule? Is that when the alleged suspect is stationary or charging? I mean if Usain Bolt is coming at you, 20ft is one second max. If a guy on drugs or alcohol is wobbling or stationary then it is another matter. I can appreciate some of the insightful comments that LEO's make on these threads, but if you have 3 non lethal methods (this is not counting the radio for back up and chill method) to subdue a knife wielding individual (at 21.67 feet) and one lethal one, then unless the guy is a knife throwing ninja, why choose the lethal one? Or why not pull both the taser and the gun, one in each hand? Not looking for a word to word combat here, but some transparency besides "internal matter" or ON PATROL would be nice. Once again, there is no oversight.

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
September 4, 2013 at 1:21 p.m. (Suggest removal)

One other question to come out in the investigation: Was the 6" knife the grand total of a swiss army knife opened up or was it a Call of the Wildman bowie knife? Indeed both can kill, but one would be more of a perceived threat than the other.

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
September 4, 2013 at 1:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Chris Hedges: "As in most police states, cops serve as judge and jury on city streets—“a long step down the totalitarian path,” in the words that U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas wrote in 1968 when he decried expanding police powers."

Lorien77 (anonymous profile)
September 16, 2013 at 3:55 p.m. (Suggest removal)

So, If this "victim" of the shooting is approaching the policeman with a knife, refuses to stop, and drop the weapon, what else is the "victim" capable of?

If you're electing to use a taser or "hand to hand combat" instead of possible lethal force in this very dangerous and unpredictable situation, you are giving more rights to the "victim" than the police officer - are you really advocating that the police officer should have put his life at more risk because of an unpredictable person brandishing a large knife and refusing to stop and drop the weapon by a policeman?

Is obeying our laws in society now optional? When did this happen? Personal responsibility is optional as well ? Common sense optional as well?

Where was the victim's family to make sure this "mentally ill victim" as some people call him, wasn't walking around brandishing a large knife at the SBPD ? Convenient they only show up after the fact....and blame the SBPD

And finally Beach Girl, you are judging after the fact - what if the "victim" also had a gun ? Anything is possible with a person that doesn't stop and drop a weapon and keeps approaching....

What if the "victim" had injured a civilian - let's say a relative of yours ? Maybe this intervention halted any future tragedies - Do you walk around SB packing a knife ? Do your friends ? Your family ? If so, Are you in the Eastside gang or Westside gang ?

Nobody I know in SB walks around with a knife, and refuses to comply with the SBPD when asked....

So Beach girl, how big is your knife ?

WillP (anonymous profile)
October 1, 2013 at 12:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Everybody stop and read this first.

"An arrest warrant affidavit listing Spencer as the victim of an aggravated assault said the officer shot Bennett after he walked toward him and his partner with a “knife raised in an aggressive manner.” Spencer fired his weapon four times, striking Bennett in the abdomen.

But a neighbor’s video surveillance recording contradicted that account.

On the video, Bennett, who was seated in a chair, initially rolls back from officers as they advance on him. He then stands up but does not move. His hands remain at his side and he is standing still when Spencer shoots him.

The video shows that less than 30 seconds elapsed from the time the officers pulled up in their squad car to when Spencer opened fire.

City Council member Dwaine Caraway called the officer’s actions “coldblooded” and called for “immediate action” of some kind. Otherwise, the national spotlight on the case will cause “a devastating blow to the department,” he said.


His elderly mother, who had called the police to help, now wishes she had never done so."

It's too bad nobody took out their cell phone and made a video.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
October 24, 2013 at 2:53 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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