FRESNO – A drunk man holding a large carving knife who refused to back down was shot and killed by officers on Wednesday night.
Authorities say that 22-year-old Miguel Moreno Torrez and his 25-year-old brother, Jose, had been drinking for hours at a home in the 900 block of East Tulare Street. The brothers ended up getting into a fight just before 10 p.m.
Witnesses called 911 for help and officers showed up within three minutes. They saw that Jose had already been hurt and Miguel was holding an 8-to-10 inch carving knife, looking like he was going to stab Jose. Miguel continued to advance toward Jose, despite the fact that the police were yelling at him to get on the ground, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said.
“At one point he held the knife over his head and came towards him – this is what prompted the officers to fire,” Dyer said. “It’s unfortunate any time our officers have to use deadly force, but there are times they have to use that in order to protect the lives of people.”
Dyer said that they believe one officer fired his gun nine times and another officer fired eight times. Miguel Torrez died at the scene.
Jose told investigators that Miguel had said, “God forgive me for what I’m about to do,” before the two brothers had gone outside, according to Dyer.
The house the brothers were at appeared to be a boarding house where the brothers were renting a room.
Both officers involved in the shooting were put on paid administrative leave, per the police department’s standard practice.