'He needed help': Landlord of man shot by officers for holding knife at party says he struggled

Miya Shay Image
Tuesday, May 16, 2023
Landlord of man shot dead by police says he was holding a knife
"Every time he heard noise, he would be mad." A landlord is telling ABC13 that his tenant had long-simmering mental health issues before he showed up at a neighbor's house with a knife.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Houston Police Department is investigating after an officer shot and killed a man who was allegedly wielding a knife Saturday.

The incident happened in the 100 block of Palmyra Street in northeast Houston.

ORIGINAL STORY HERE: Police kill neighbor who allegedly threatened partygoers with knife at grad celebration, HPD says

The 65-year-old man was allegedly upset over loud music being played at a college graduation party one street over.

"Every time he heard a noise, he would be mad," Angel Martinez, a plumber who has rented a shack behind his shop to the man for several years, said. "He would go over there and tell him, 'Please turn the music off.'"

Martinez says the man suffered from some mental health issues. Court records show he recently spent time in jail for threatening a neighbor.

Martinez says for more than a year he's been trying to get his tenant some mental health help, even talking to the man's attorney.

"I told his attorney he didn't need jail time. He needed help to go to the hospital," he said.

Neighbors say the graduation party was loud but nothing unusual for special occasions. "They had drums, and they were too loud, but we couldn't say anything," Enedelia Martinez, who lived across the street, said. "They were my neighbors."

"We usually have loud music around here," another neighbor Penelope Medellin, said. "I enjoy it, but I guess it could be a problem for some people."

Houston police say the man initially went to the home and demanded the music be turned down. Neighbors then called the police, and the man returned with a knife.

The man reportedly refused to put down the knife and moved toward the officers, causing police to fire.

Martinez, the landlord, says he tried to get his tenant to stay home so a tragedy could be avoided, but it just didn't work.

"I had told him, 'Calm down man, you just got out of jail. You want to go back?' He said he didn't want to live no more."

As part of the investigation, HPD is expected to release body-camera footage within 30 days.

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