Police shoot, kill man with hammer at California museum

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Police shot and killed a 34-year-old man who broke into a museum in California’s San Joaquin Valley on Thursday and charged officers with a hammer, authorities said.

Edgar Morfin Mendoza was pronounced dead at the scene after two officers opened fire at the Meux Home Museum in downtown Fresno, authorities said. The officers, whose names have not been released, are now on administrative leave. One of them tried to subdue Mendoza with a stun gun, but he pulled out the darts before charging at the officers.

Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama said officers were called to the Victorian Age Museum, which has been closed for cleaning, following a report of a potential burglary in progress. around noon Thursday. The 911 caller told police a man was pacing outside the museum holding a 6-inch (15.24 centimeter) knife.

Balderrama said two officers arrived to find windows smashed and the museum’s front door slammed open. They discovered Mendoza at the door and he was “frenzied, yelling at the officers,” the chief said.


Mendoza allegedly did not cooperate with officers’ attempts to deescalate the situation, police said in a Facebook post, and “then suddenly tried to assault one of them.”

That officer used a stun gun in an attempt to subdue Mendoza, but pulled out the darts, police said. Mendoza then allegedly “seized a hammer and raised it above his head and charged the officers”.

Both officers fired their weapons.

Fresno is about 220 miles (354 kilometers) north of Los Angeles.

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