New information has come to light in the deadly shooting of a gay man by police in San Diego, in what officers said was a domestic dispute involving his boyfriend. Authorities have identified the man shot and killed by police as 30-year-old Joshua Adam Sisson, a student and Camp Pendleton employee.
The officer who fatally shot Sisson, Richard Butera, is a 13-year veteran of the San Diego police department, according to The Union-Tribune. Butera's record shows Sisson is the third man he fatally shot in the past three years, a revelation that triggered demonstrations outside the San Diego police department last night.
The prior fatal shootings were in 2013 and 2014. Butera was cleared of any wrongdoing in both cases by the district attorney, who found the shootings were justified, the paper reports.
Friday night, Sisson was reported to have held a large kitchen knife to his boyfriend’s throat, then ran, police told local media. The boyfriend was not hurt. A police helicopter soon spotted Sisson a block away from the home where the inciden occurred, still carrying the knife. When Officer Butera caught up with him, he ordered Sisson to stop. But police said Sisson refused and instead pointed the knife at Butera in what police described as “an aggressive stance.”
“The suspect did not comply with the officer’s demands of dropping the knife,” San Diego Police Department Capt. David Nisleit told local TV station KSWB. “The officer, fearing for his life, fired one round, striking the suspect.”
Butera's single shot struck Sisson in the chest, said police. He died at a hospital Saturday morning.
Sisson was reportedly wanted for a violation of parole, and had a “violent criminal history,” according to reports. He was a Pennsylvania native, according to his Facebook page, which lists him as working at Camp Pendleton and studying computer science at California College San Diego. His mother has launched a GoFundMe page to raise money to bring his remains home for burial.
Officer Butera was not injured. Police haven't released a video from a body camera Butera was wearing.
Watch a report on the demonstrations from San Diego TV station KNSD, below.