Waukegan police release body camera footage of officer who fatally shot man armed with knife and hammer

CHICAGO (SCS) — On Friday, Waukegan police released video footage from a body camera showing an officer killing a man in a clash last month.

Officers were called to a home in the 1000 block of Glen Court at around 12.45pm on August 24, to reports that a man had smashed a neighbour’s window and set fire to a wooden fence. The callers also told police the man had poured gasoline on the neighbor’s house and was trying to start a chainsaw.

Body camera footage released on Friday shows the first officer who arrived on the scene spotted the burning fence and retrieved a fire extinguisher from his police cruiser to douse the flames, when a man began to approach him in the driveway.

The officer can be seen dropping the fire extinguisher and shouting “drop the knife” as the man continues to walk towards him, and raising his right hand above his head, grabbing a knife. Moments later, the officer fires five shots and the man falls to the ground.

Waukegan police said the man, Jesus Angel Manjarrez, 26, was armed with a knife and a hammer. He also had a gas can taped to his chest, police said.

Manjarrez was pronounced dead at the scene.

Illinois State Police are investigating the shooting.

As CBS 2’s Jermont Terry reported, Manjarrez’s mother said her son suffered from mental health issues and was horrified to witness what happened.

Diana Manjarrez was in the yard at the time of the incident and saw the police kill her son.

“He’s my only son,” she said at the time. “They could have tasered him. They didn’t have to shoot him.”

Waukegan police said the officer feared for his safety, which is why he fired.

It was Ms. Manjarrez who called 911 for help.

The reason, she said, was “because he had two knives in his hands.”

Manjarrez’s mother said her son was suffering from a nervous breakdown.

“He had duct tape in his head,” Ms. Manjarrez said, “because, like I said, he had issues — you know, mental issues — and he thought he was Rambo.”

Neighbor Stan Reyes said on the day of the shooting that he couldn’t believe what happened in front of his house.

“It’s hard to see that happen — especially with neighbors; being my neighbor’s son,” Reyes said.

Waukegan police said the Illinois State Police investigation is ongoing and their report will be released after being reviewed by the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office.


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