SUNNYVALE -- A man suspected in the disappearance and presumed death of his housemate was brandishing a long BB gun when he was shot and killed by police officers in the back of his home Thursday morning, according to the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety.
The description of the weapon was the most prominent revelation from a news conference held Friday afternoon at police headquarters to address the officer-involved shooting that led to the death of homicide suspect Glen Griggs, 53.
The four officers who opened fire have been placed on paid administrative leave amid an investigation monitored by the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office, Sunnyvale Capt. Jeff Hunter said. The officers involved in the shooting were identified as Chris Ketchum, Mark Jorgensen, Joel Lockwood and Greg Othon, all detectives. The four have a combined 37 years with the department.
According to Hunter, three of the four detectives fired when Griggs raised his weapon at them outside of his home Thursday after he adamantly refused their instructions to put it down. The fourth detective fired a nonlethal round from his weapon. All are believed to have struck Griggs.
Sunnyvale detectives, backed by a SWAT team, went to Griggs' home near North Fair Oaks and Maude avenues about 9 a.m. Thursday to serve search and arrest warrants, stemming from an investigation into the 2013 disappearance of Molly Franquemont.
Authorities say Franquemont moved into the home in January 2013, was last seen that March, but was not reported missing until May. Investigators grew to believe she might have been the victim of foul play and suspected Griggs. According to Hunter, detectives visited the North Fair Oaks Avenue home on several occasions following the woman's disappearance and spoke with Griggs. Hunter would not say what led detectives to peg Griggs as the primary suspect, only that Griggs was known to the department and that in addition to the case, officers went to Griggs' home in the past for service calls. He would also not say whether Griggs had any prior criminal history.
Officers who went to the home Thursday got no response when they knocked on the front door, and forced their way inside, police said. Police say Griggs defied the officers, barricaded himself and told them he had a gun. This prompted the officers to back out.
After failing to get him to surrender, police say Griggs was spotted exiting the back of the house and saw him carrying what they described as a "long gun." When Griggs refused officers' commands to drop the weapon and then raised his gun at them, they opened fire. Griggs was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
"It is an unfortunate situation that took Griggs' life," Hunter said.
Hunter added several items were taken from the home Thursday after the shooting and the items are believed to be related to Franquemont's disappearance, though he could not elaborate, citing the ongoing investigation.
Though Franquemont's whereabouts remain unknown, Hunter said detectives will continue to actively investigate the case in hopes someone will know where she may be.
It marked the third officer-involved shooting in Sunnyvale in the past year. In September, Santa Clara police shot and killed a man during an undercover drug sting in front of the Hobee's Restaurant on West Ahwahnee Avenue. In August, a man was shot to death when he , reportedly rushed at officers with a kitchen knife after calling 911 to report he had killed his wife, was found dead inside his home.
Anyone with information on Franquemont's disappearance can call the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety at 408-730-7138.