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Santa Barbara County DA's Office Says Fatal Shooting Of Armed Man By Police Justified

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A new report by Santa Barbara County prosecutors says police officers were justified in fatally shooting a man armed with two knives. It happened in January of 2018, at an apartment complex on Mill Street in Santa Maria. Santa Maria Police received a 911 call from a woman, but then her son grabbed the phone and said he had knives, and threatened his family.

The 911 dispatchers tried to get Alejandro Valdez to surrender. But, he refused, and ran out of the apartment with two large knives. Officers ordered him to surrender, and tried to stop him with a non-lethal foam stun shot. Investigators say that failed to stop the 27 year old man, who charged at officers with the knives.

They opened fire. He was hit 19 times, and died at the scene. The report says that officers acted reasonably in their use of deadly force.

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