PD: Officers shoot suspect after he refuses to drop weapon - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

PD: Officers shoot suspect after he refuses to drop weapon

Posted: Updated:
Austin Del Castillo Austin Del Castillo
TEMPE, Ariz. -

A quiet morning on Mill Avenue in Tempe was shattered by the sounds of gunshots on Thursday.

It started when a man with some sort of knife was threatening people around 8 a.m.

"Like he was pulling a box cutter or something out of his pocket," said Jeffrey Hollingsworth.

Hollingsworth was one of dozens of witnesses on Mill Avenue when two officers tried to convince the man to put his weapon down.

"He was standing in basically defense mode.. like he was ready to go at the officers. They opened fire like I said, six rounds went off and the guy dropped."

"All I saw was a bunch of cops piled here in front of chili's and next thing you know I hear six gunshots - the guy drops to the ground," said another witness, Joey Ramon.

When Ramon heard the shots, he started recording video with his cell phone

"So I run over here in front of the firehouse and I see them handcuffing him, and I see them resuscitating him -- but the guy's not moving," he said.

"I would say he had to have been at least 10, 15 feet away when he shot him," said another man at the scene who did not want to be identified.  He also saw the shooting and was worried innocent bystanders would be hit by a bullet.

"Oh absolutely there was potential. The thing that sears in my mind was seeing that guy on the ground with blood coming out from under him. In public, you know?"

Ramon said, "I mean if you come out here and mess around with the police I guess -- that's the end result."

Authorities say 36-year-old Austin Del Castillo was taken to a valley hospital and remains in critical condition. His injuries are life threatening.

The officer who shot the suspect is a 12 year veteran on the force.  He is now on paid administrative leave.

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