San Diego Police Department

SDPD Officer Opens Fire on Man Holding Knife in Downtown San Diego

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A San Diego Police officer opened fire on a man who was holding a knife in downtown San Diego Thursday night, SDPD said.

Police responded to calls of a man reportedly holding a knife and blocking the sidewalk of Third Avenue and G Street near the Gaslamp Quarter, SDPD Officer John Buttle said.

SDPD Captain Rich Freedman said the man was acting erratic.

As an officer approached the man, he pulled out a knife and threatened the officer, according to Freedman. The officer then shot the man at least once.

Officers and medics gave the man first aid before he was taken to a local hospital and underwent surgery. Freedman said the man was in stable condition, and SDPD said the officer was not injured.

Police did not release the identity of the man but said he was 69 years old.

SDPD's Homicide Unit is investigating the incident, which is protocol for cases in which officers fire their service weapons. The officer, who has been with the department for 26 years, is being placed on leave pending investigation of the incident, and the department will likely release body-worn camera footage in the future, Capt. Freedman said.

A witness told NBC 7 he saw who he thought was a homeless man standing in a large pile of trash on the sidewalk. The man looked "dazed," according to the witness.

As the witness drove away from the area he said he heard three gun shots.

Other witnesses told police the man appeared to be a transient, Freedman said.

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