Houston, TX – A police officer shot and killed a double amputee Saturday inside of a group home. The one-armed, one-legged, wheelchair bound man reportedly threatened the officer and waved a metal object at him. The object turned out to be a pen.
Houston police spokeswoman Jodi Silva said that the double amputee cornered the officer with his wheelchair, threatening him and trying to stab him with the pen. The officer didn’t know what the metal object was at the time. The man came “within inches to a foot” of the officer and did not follow police instructions to calm down and remains still, reports Yahoo! News.
“Fearing for his partner’s safety and his own safety, he discharged his weapon,” Silva told The Associated Press.
Police were initially summoned to the group home when a caretaker called and reported that a man in a wheelchair was causing a disturbance. The home’s owner, John Garcia, told the local press that the double amputee had a history of mental illness, and had been living at the home roughly 18 months. The man told Garcia that he had lost his arm and his leg when he was hit by a train.
“He sometimes would go off a bit, but you just ignore it,” he said.
The officer who shot the double amputee was identified by Silva as one Matthew Jacob Marin, a five-year veteran of the department. He was placed on a three-day administrative leave, standard in all shootings involving officers. Marin has fatally shot a suspect before. In 2009, he came upon a man stabbing his neighbor to death at an apartment complex and opened fire after the suspect refused to drop the knife.
“It was close quarters in the area of the house,” Silva said of the group home incident involving the double amputee. “The officer was forced into an area where he had no way to get out.”