Cops were allegedly forced to kill a hammer-wielding man in San Fransisco on Wednesday.
The fatal incident occurred as police were responding to a 911 call regarding a violent altercation between two men at a home in Potrero Hill. One of the men involved aggressively approached the responding cops with a hammer, causing one of the officers to open fire.
The victim, identified as 60-year-old Dale Wilkerson, was later pronounced dead at San Francisco General Hospital. According to authorities, it was Wilkerson who made the 911 call that brought cops to the scene.
During the call, Wilkerson claimed that he had stabbed his brother-in-law. The dispatcher could reportedly hear the injured man in the background calling out, “Please help me, I’m bleeding.”
When cops arrived at the home, the stabbing victim was sitting in a doorway on the property. Wilkerson soon emerged from a second doorway, brandishing a hammer that he allegedly raised toward the officers.
The hammer-wielding man ignored officers’ demands that he release the weapon. Instead, Wilkerson exhibited threatening behavior as he moved toward the cops.
“He continued his advance and one of the officers opened fire on the suspect,” San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr confirmed. “The suspect did not survive his injuries.”
Wilkerson’s 60-year-old brother-in-law, who has not been publicly identified, was taken to San Fransisco General Hospital where he was treated for multiple stab wounds to his arms, chest, and head. His injuries have been reported as serious but not life-threatening.
It is unclear what may have caused Dale Wilkerson to try and kill his brother-in-law, or what prompted him to threaten the cops with a hammer. According to Jon Cawthon, the man’s neighbor for two decades, Wilkerson was “quiet and would always mind his own business; he would always help you out.”
Although Cawthon described his neighbor as a “nice man,” he indicated that Wilkerson had become reclusive during the the past several months. “Lately I think he’s been really stressed about something, I don’t know what,” he explained following the shooting.
According to Police Chief Suhr, witnesses to the shooting incident have corroborated the events as described by the officers involved. However, in accordance with standard protocol, the cop who killed the hammer-wielding man has been put on paid administrative leave pending an investigation.
[Top image via Shutterstock]