Photo: DA Jeff Rosen announcing report (SF Chronicle)
SUNNYVALE – The District Attorney’ Office released a report this week determining that a Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety officer lawfully shot and killed a man who had stabbed his ex-girlfriend after barricading himself inside her home, and throwing a knife at officers.
The incident occurred in October 31 of 2017 when Department of Public Safety units responded to the apartment on Weddell Drive where a man was physically harming his live-in girlfriend with a knife.
According to records, “Officers found the victim nearby with a knife wound to her stomach.” The suspect, Jesus Contreras Jr., 25, had barricaded himself in the apartment, and a law enforcement K9 named Jax was used to try and defuse the situation that had spread out over a number of hours.
However, Contreras stabbed the K9 killing him. The handler raced in to try and rescue the K9, but Jax succumbed to his injury. Other officers followed in pursuit when they encountered the suspect barricaded in the bathroom.
“Lt. Larkin’s belief the suspect posed an imminent threat was clearly reasonable given the suspect’s words, stabbing of Jane Doe, assaultive actions toward the officers and the fact he had already stabbed the canine,” Assistant District Attorney Stacey Capps said. “Contreras, who continually refused to surrender and verbally challenged the officers, threw a knife at Lt. Larkin, striking him on his arm.”
Body camera footage was taken at the scene and can be viewed on video. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BEkKisW0z849TSicwV9WL1acjGe3iiY6/view
According to the District Attorney’s Office by law, officers can use deadly force when they or others are faced with imminent danger.