Family outraged after man was shot, killed by Chico Police
CHICO, Calif. - Two Chico Police officers are on paid administrative leave while the Butte County District Attorney investigates a fatal shooting that occurred Friday evening.
Sunday, family and neighbors gave a first-hand account of what happened that night and why they consider it to be excessive force.
"He's got a gunshot hole in his face this big, they murdered him," David Phillips exclaimed. He's the father of 25-year-old Desmond Phillips, shot and killed by two Chico police officers Friday night.
"He doesn't have any criminal record, you don't have anything on him! He was mental, man and that means you guys should have had extra care," David cried, speaking about the police who responded.
David said Desmond had a mental disorder and was having one of his episodes, so he called paramedics for help, like he had done twice before.
Chico Police said they were called after Desmond was hostile with the firefighters. David said all his son did was yank his arm away when the firefighters tried to take him to the hospital.
"Upon arrival, the subject was seen pacing in a small living room area and was seen holding two knives," said Chico Police Chief Michael O'Brien.
"He had a butter knife in his hand and he had a little knife, it was about 'ye' long, that we cut vegetables with," David further explained.
Police said they were trying to protect David and his two grandchildren, an 18 and 12-year-old locked inside the bedrooms.
One officer tased Desmond. "Before a second taser deployment could occur, the subject jumped to his feet and started to slash at the officers," said Chief O'Brien.
David said it happened very quickly. "Tase, this cop 'boom, boom, boom, boom, boom! And I said, 'what the hell are you doing?! You just killed my son!"
Neighbors home at the time agreed. "We heard the taser go off and then right after that, a couple seconds after that, a ton of gunshots, like a lot," said Janet Tu, a neighbor a few units down. "I didn't register them as gunshots at first because there was so many."
Witnesses said they heard at least 10 rounds. Two of the bullets came straight through the next door neighbors apartment. Thankfully, he and his roommate weren't home at the time.
"If we were home, what could have happened? It's crazy to think about. If we were home just minding our own business in our own safe haven, we could have possibly been shot," said Andrew Perlinger, the next door neighbor.
It's a shooting the Chico Police Chief said was justified, but neighbors are disagreeing with. "Definitely seems like an excessive amount of police force was used," said Nick Bragg. "I definitely think they could have resolved this issue without having to kill this individual."
The family is outraged. "You don't put 10-12 bullets in somebody because they have a mental disability, you're supposed to help them," said David. "That's what I called them for, to help him. Not to kill him. I didn't call y'all here to kill my son!"
A GoFundMe account has been started to help the family pay for funeral expenses. To donate, click here.
A vigil is planned for Desmond at Bethel A.M.E church at 6 p.m. The family said they will start there, then make their way to the Chico Police Department where they will hold the second half.