Things can happen very quickly on any type of police call.
Tulare County Sheriff’s Department deputies responded on May 3 to a call to assist a family with a schizophrenic family member behaving erratically due to being off his medication. The deputies went to subject’s bedroom door and knocked, asking, “Hey man, you mind if we come in and talk to you?”
Immediately, 27-year-old Anthony Trujillo left his room and swung a machete, striking one of the deputies on the head and inflicting a deep laceration. In a narrow hallway, the backup officer and Trujillo engaged in a physical struggle. The deputy fired his weapon, incapacitating Trujillo. According to Sheriff Mike Boudreaux, the deputy who was struck by the machete received a bullet wound to his hand as a result of the “close quarter combat” nature of the struggle.
Boudreaux said his agency has reached out to Trujillo’s family, “as you can imagine, this is a very traumatic situation and our hearts go out to them…we hope for a quick recovery in their healing process for them as well…they have lost a loved one.”
In a Fresno Bee interview, Cynthia Trujillo, the man’s sister, said, “There were other ways deputies could have put him down if he was not cooperating, and honestly, I think officers need to be trained better when dealing with people with mental illness.”