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Public Safety

Man Armed With Box Cutter Shot, Killed By SDPD Officer

At the scene of an officer-involved shooting outside a CVS store in Mission Valley, Aug. 28, 2015.
At the scene of an officer-involved shooting outside a CVS store in Mission Valley, Aug. 28, 2015.

A man who was allegedly armed with a box cutter was shot and killed by a San Diego police officer at a Mission Valley strip mall early Friday.

San Diego police report that the man was shot several times after charging at an officer with the knife.

Just after midnight, San Diego police responded to the CVS store at 10350 Friars Rd. in the Friars Mission Center on a 911 call of a man chasing CVS employees with a box cutter.

The first officer arrived on scene about three minutes later and found the suspect, an approximately 54-year-old white man, standing in the parking lot armed with a box cutter. According to SDPD spokesman Capt. David Nisleit, as soon as the officer exited his car, the suspect began advancing on the officer.

Nisleit said the officer gave the suspect several commands to drop the box cutter, but the suspect ignored them.

"As the suspect got very close to the officer, the officer fearing for his own safety, fired multiple rounds at the suspect, striking him," Nisleit said.

The officer rendered first aid until paramedics arrived on scene and took over. The suspect died on scene.

"The suspect was advancing on the officer at a very quick pace,” Nisleit emphasized. “Again, our officer, as he was giving those verbal commands to drop the knife, our officer was retreating, trying to get some distance between himself and the suspect."

"The knife was in a very threatening manner."

Witnesses told 10News they heard police commanding someone to get on the ground just prior to the sound of gunshots.

The officer was wearing a body cam, which was on during the incident, Nisleit said. The body cam will be turned over to the San Diego County District Attorney's Office for their investigation.

The incident began when the suspect was yelling in the store parking lot and one of the CVS employees went outside to check on his welfare. The suspect responded by chasing the employee with a box cutter, Nisleit said. The suspect also entered the CVS store prior to the officer’s arrival.

The involved officer is a 15-year veteran of SDPD. He will be placed on paid administrative leave, per department policy.

The name of the victim was not released.