​For release on September 30, 2015  CONTACT:
Charles Gillingham
Deputy District Attorney
(408) 792-2521                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      DA REPORT: OFFICERS LAWFULLY KILLED KNIFE-WIELDING, CHARGING MAN
Two veteran San Jose police officers lawfully shot and killed a suicidal man who called 911 to falsely report an armed intruder and then charged at responding officers with a knife, according to a review by the Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office.
Before the shooting on February 11, 2015, Watkins, 23, told his ex-fiancée that he was suicidal and that he wanted police to “handle it.”
“…the totality of the evidence leads to the conclusion that Phillip Watkins was intent on dying at the hands of police officers…,” Deputy District Attorney Charles Gillingham wrote in the 31-page public report.
The District Attorney’s Office investigates all fatal law enforcement encounters to determine if the lethal force was legal. By law, officers are allowed to use deadly force when faced with imminent danger.
Around 5 p.m., a San Jose police dispatcher received a 911 call, later determined to have come from Watkins. The caller said that there was a “crazy” man with a knife “….threatening to kill my family….Will you please come fast?” The caller said he was barricaded with his children against the intruder. Then, he hung up. In fact, there was no intruder. Watkins had shown up at his ex-fiancée’s home saying he was distraught and suicidal. The woman and her mother took him so seriously that they tried to hide knives in the home and called a suicide hotline for help.
The dispatched officers – Ryan Dote and James Soh – arrived soon afterward, preparing to intercede in an ongoing home invasion robbery.
They parked their cars several homes away and saw Watkins, armed with a knife. Watkins began to walk at them with the knife pointed at them and then broke into a run, ignoring their calls for him disarm and stop.   Officers fired multiple shots at Watkins. He was pronounced dead at 6:24 p.m.   In an interview, his roommate told police that Watkins wanted to die, but “he just couldn’t do it himself.”   ###

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