SAN JOSE -- Two gunshot wounds to the back killed a 38-year-old man shot by San Jose State University police after he reportedly charged an officer with a drywall saw last week, the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner's Office said Thursday.
Antonio Lopez Guzman was the man killed in the Feb. 21 off-campus confrontation with two university police officers. Investigators from the San Jose Police Department, which is investigating the shooting, declined to comment on the coroner's finding.
SJSU police Chief Pete Decena, while declining to comment on the coroner's report Lopez Guzman was shot twice in the back, revealed that the two police officers involved -- Sgt. Mike Santos and Officer Frits van der Hoek -- were both wearing uniformed-mounted cameras. He would not say what the cameras recorded.
"Sgt. Santos and Officer van der Hoek responded heroically in a very difficult situation, " Decena said.
"The suspect is charging Officer van der Hoek with the knife outstretched and is on the verge of stabbing him. Sgt. Santos took the action that he could to prevent that from happening."
San Jose police, who are investigating the shooting because it occurred just off campus, have said Lopez Guzman was seen on campus about 11 a.m. that morning holding a large knife, prompting a 911 call and spurring the two officers to find him. He walked off campus toward Eighth and San Salvador streets before they could catch up to and make contact with him.
Near the intersection, San Jose police say the officers called out to Lopez Guzman and ordered him to drop the blade, which turned out to be a 12-inch saw typically used for cutting drywall. When he did not comply, police said, an officer fired a Taser, but it had no effect, and it was not clear whether it missed him or if there was an issue with the weapon.
That's when Lopez Guzman reportedly charged at the officer with the blade raised, spurring Santos to open fire. Lopez Guzman was hit and fell to the ground. He later died at Valley Medical Center.
Decena said van der Hoek was backpedaling from the suspect when Santos fired.
Witnesses reported hearing the Taser deployment and two gunshots, but not everyone heard the officers' commands. One of the bullets went through the second-floor bedroom window of a nearby sorority house, but no one was injured.
Contact Robert Salonga at 408-920-5002. Follow him at Twitter.com/robertsalonga.