Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Public Safety

Police ID San Diego Cop Who Fatally Shot Man In Hillcrest


Authorities released the name today of a policeman who fatally shot a domestic violence suspect who allegedly threatened him with a knife on a Hillcrest roadside on New Year's Day.

Officer Richard Butera, a 13-year member of the San Diego Police Department, tried to conduct a pedestrian stop on 30-year-old Joshua Adam Sisson in the 4200 block of Sixth Avenue shortly after 10:30 p.m. Friday to question him about a reported assault on the suspect's boyfriend, SDPD Sgt. Manny Del Toro said.

Sisson ignored commands to stop and drop the knife, Del Toro said. Butera feared for his life when Sisson advanced toward him and was shot, Del Toro said.

"In defense of his life, (Butera) shot Sisson once in the chest as he advanced toward the officer," Del Toro said. A large kitchen knife was found next to Sisson, he said.

Sisson, who was the subject of an arrest warrant alleging parole violations, died in a hospital early the next morning.

Butera was not hurt and captured the incident on his body camera, Del Toro said.

He said the officers had been called to a report of domestic violence in progress in the 500 block of Lewis Street. The report was of a man holding a knife to his boyfriend's neck.

The suspect fled the residence and a San Diego police helicopter unit saw him in the 4200 block of Sixth Avenue, Del Toro said.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports this is the third time in less than three years Butera has been involved in a fatal shooting.

He shot and killed Giacomo James Cargnoni on June 1, 2013 and Aaron Devenere on Jan. 26, 2014, the Union-Tribune reports. Both men were allegedly holding another individual hostage at the time they were shot. Cargnoni reportedly held a knife; Devenere claimed to have explosives.

The district attorney found both shootings were justified, according to the Union-Tribune.

What questions do you have about the Statewide General Election coming up on Nov. 8? Submit your questions here, and we'll try to answer them in our reporting.