Alpine, CA – The San Diego district attorney determined that three sheriff’s deputies “acted reasonably under the circumstances” when they fatally shot a man who came at them with a knife (video below).
The incident occurred shortly before 3 p.m. on Nov. 12, 2018 when officers responded to a second-floor apartment on Alpine Boulevard for a call about an inebriated man, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
Callers told the 911 operator that the man was screaming, throwing things, and threatening to kill people.
They also told police that the man had his five-year-old son inside the apartment where the chaos was taking place, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
San Diego County Sheriff’s Sergeant Chris Katra, Corporal Sean McGillicuddy, and Deputy Kevin Nulton responded to the call and went upstairs to the apartment to talk to the man when they arrived, bodycam video showed.
First the deputies game-planned at the bottom of the staircase, and then they went up to the top, where Deputy Nulton knocked on the locked metal screen door.
The video showed that Sgt. Katra took up a position on the right side of the door behind Deputy Nulton, and Cpl. McGillicuddy was on the left side of the door.
Deputy Nulton knocked multiple times and announced “sheriff’s department.”
He also called out to the man that he wasn’t in trouble and that they just needed to talk to him, the video showed.
All of a sudden, 31-year-old Daniel Ayala appeared at the door and stabbed the knife through the metal screen on the door right in front of where Deputy Nulton was standing.
Deputy Nulton warned the other officers by saying “knife, knife, knife” as he backed away from the door, the video showed.
Sgt. Katra made a dash for the other side of the door.
Just after Sgt. Katra made it safely across the threshold, Ayala burst through the door with a large knife in his right hand, the video showed.
The video showed that Ayala was thrusting his knife forward when Deputy Nulton opened fire on him, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
The deputy fired six rounds at Ayala, and Sgt. Katra and Cpl. McGillicuddy each fired four rounds.
Six rounds hit Ayala in the torso and four more struck his legs.
The child, who was still inside the apartment when the shooting occurred, was not injured, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
Sgt. Katra told investigators that he fired his weapon because Ayala was only four-to-five feet away from him and coming at him with a knife.
District Attorney Summer Stephan sent a letter to San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore that said all three members of the sheriff’s department had been justified in shooting Ayala and that none of his men would face charges in the incident, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
“With the extremely limited time to assess the threat Ayala presented, and with minimal physical space available to escape harm’s way, the deputies were compelled by Ayala to use deadly force in order to safeguard their own lives,” Stephan wrote.
The district attorney also said that toxicology reports showed that Ayala had methamphetamine, heroin, cannabis, and alcohol in his system when he was fatally shot, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
At the time of the incident, Sgt. Katra had been with the sheriff’s department for 18 years.
Cpl. McGillicuddy had been on the force for 12 years and Deputy Nulton had been there for 10 years, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
Watch how quickly the incident unfolded in the video below. WARNING - Graphic Content: