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Sword-wielding man shot by Grandview police dies

Posted: 5:03 PM, Jul 01, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-03 13:54:04-04
Grandview police shoot sword-wielding man
Grandview police shoot sword-wielding man
Grandview police shoot sword-wielding man

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Grandview police officer shot a man who a witness said approached officers with two katana swords Sunday afternoon in Grandview.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol, which investigates officer-involved shootings for municipal police departments, confirmed the eyewitness account later in the day during an afternoon press briefing.

The subject, later identified as Larry San Nicolas, 60, died Sunday at a local hospital where he'd been taken after the incident, according to an update from the Missouri Highway Patrol.

Missouri Highway Patrol Sgt. Bill Lowe said the family called for help because San Nicolas was acting violently and irrationally.

Lowe said it's unclear if drugs or alcohol was involved or if there was an underlying medical issue.

A friend of the family at the scene, Simon Chavez, learned from San Nicolas' son that a medical issue was to blame.

"He was going into diabetic shock. He was really disoriented," Chavez said.

Larry's wife of 27 years, Jessie San Nicolas, said her husband was having a hyperglycemic episode related to his diabetes. 

That information was communicated to a dispatcher, who can be heard on scanner archives saying, "his blood sugar is extremely high. He is currently armed with swords."

When San Nicolas emerged from the house with the swords, one officer fired two bean bag rounds, but Sgt. Lowe said the man kept coming toward the officers.

"He didn't listen to any commands, and for somebody to take a couple of bean bag rounds to his torso and continue on, that shows an amazing desire to continue his threat," Lowe said.

At that point, one officer fired at the subject, ending the threat, and then started first aid, according to police. San Nicolas' family and friends witnessed the shooting.

No officers were injured. 

A witness to the shooting told 41 Action News that he saw a man emerge from the house carrying two swords after police arrived. Then, the witness said he heard gunshots.

“I mean he (the subject) didn’t run, but he kind of took an aggressive walk towards police with two katana swords standing up, and they shot him quite a few times,” said Brandon Hitchner, who witnessed the incident.

Other neighbors reported hearing 4 to 5 consecutive shots fired. 

"It's too close to home, you know?" Chavez said, with tears in his eyes. 

Chavez has been friends with the San Nicolas family for nearly a decade. He said their house was the site of weekend barbecues and family gatherings where everyone felt welcome.

Chavez was among the family and friends who joined hands for a prayer circle Sunday night in the driveway where San Nicolas was shot. 

"I'm in shock. I never thought this would happen, especially to them," he said.