Police were called to the 800 block of Gazin near Market in east Houston shortly before 9 p.m. for a report of a suicidal man.
According to HPD Chief Art Acevedo, the man was jumping in and out of traffic, trying to get hit by vehicles. Police say he also threatened some people in the neighborhood with a metal weapon, possibly a knife.
Officers say they tried to calm him down, but he wouldn't listen, so they used a Taser on him twice.
Police also fired bean bags, which aren't lethal, but can take down a suspect.
Investigators say the man charged at officers, who ultimately fired shots, killing him.
"Mental health experts don't like using that term, suicide by cop. I know that's a term used frequently around the country, but this was a person who was not compliant. I think the facts speak for themselves, and I will let people draw their own conclusions," Acevedo said.
OVERNIGHT: when asked if this was suicide by cop, @ArtAcevedo said: “Mental health experts don’t like using that term, suicide by cop... This was a person who was not compliant. I will let people draw their own conclusions.” #abc13 https://t.co/aBZiQSdipr— Courtney Fischer (@CourtneyABC13) April 22, 2020
"They could have put a dog out there instead of killing this man and get him the help he needed," said Ashley Marie Carrizal, who lives in the Denver Harbor neighborhood.
Acevedo said he spoke with the man's mother, who said her son recently got out of jail, was struggling emotionally and may have been suicidal.
The man's name has not been released.
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