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Friday, July 1, 2011

Man killed by police grabbed cop's Taser

6-29-2011 Arizona:

The man shot and killed by Tucson police Monday evening reportedly wrestled a Taser away from an officer and attacked another one, police said Tuesday.

Anthony Salcido, 30, was shot by police officers just moments after he was suspected of shooting a fellow employee at the Overboard Seafood & Grill, 4105 N. Oracle Road, said Sgt. Diana Lopez, a Tucson Police Department spokeswoman.

After the first shooting, Salcido ran to a nearby apartment complex, where police say he fought with two officers, grabbed one of their Tasers and attacked them, Lopez said.

Officer Christopher Duenas was taken to a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries sustained in the fight, she said.

Police were still investigating whether Salcido used the Taser on the officers, she said.

Investigators were waiting to interview Duenas, who was still in the hospital Tuesday afternoon, she said.

Officers initially were called to the restaurant after receiving reports of a person who had been shot, she said.

Officers found a 37-year-old man, an employee, lying on the sidewalk outside of the restaurant. He was expected to survive.

Two officers - Duenas, a 10-year-veteran, and Officer Nancy Fatura, a 12-year-veteran - soon confronted Salcido, who got into a fighting posture and made statements about not being captured alive.

One officer tried to subdue him with a Taser, but Salcido appeared unaffected by the stun gun and later grabbed the Taser before at least one of the officers shot him. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Detectives were still investigating a motive, but they said they found evidence suggesting drugs were being sold at the time and may have played a role in the shooting.

They found methamphetamines on Salcido and recovered the gun believed to have been used in the shooting.

According to Arizona Department of Public Safety records, Salcido was a Level 3 sex offender who was convicted of a sexual assault in Phoenix. Level 3 is considered the most at risk of re-offending.

However, his employer, restaurant owner John Willingham, said he met Salcido numerous times and remembered him as a "likable guy" and a "hard worker."

"He was a good, friendly guy. It's a shocker," Willingham said.

Salcido worked at the restaurant for more than a year, while the 37-year-old man had worked there for about three months, he said.

Willingham met that man once, he said.

Salcido was either working or had just gotten off work before the shooting, while the other man was not working at the time, Willingham said.

Police said the shooting took place inside the restaurant, but Willingham said the two men were outside when the shooting took place.

Salcido then dragged the wounded man into the restaurant and barricaded himself in a bathroom when he saw police arriving, he said. He then ran out.

Another employee also ran from the restaurant, Willingham said. But he said that employee was not involved in the shooting.

"He feared for his life, so he fled," he said.

Police didn't identify him as a suspect, but investigators want to talk to him, Lopez said. Willingham and his family run five Overboard restaurants, which were recently Long John Silver's before he converted them.

He said he was not aware of Salcido's sexual assault conviction or any drug activity at the restaurant.

The restaurants last week implemented a program to conduct extensive background checks on prospective employees, he said.

Before that, the restaurants didn't have the capability to conduct criminal background checks for hourly employees, he said.

A Police Department board of inquiry and the Pima County Attorney's Office will review the incident.

Officers Duenas and Fatura were placed on administrative leave, a standard procedure in officer-involved shootings. ..Source.. by Jamar Younger Arizona Daily Star

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