Police have identified Jesus Altimirano Cruz as a knife-wielding suspect who was fatally shot by an officer in his Salinas home Thursday night after he scared the house’s other residents and allegedly threatened them during a police evacuation.Cruz, 29, had only been living in the house for two months and doesn’t appear to be related to the other residents, Salinas police Chief Louis Fetherolf said.Police received a call about Cruz acting strangely and carrying around a large knife in the house, located in the 800 block of La Cuestra Court, at about 11:40 p.m. Thursday, police said.When police arrived, the other residents – four adults and two children – had barricaded themselves in an upstairs bedroom. Police said they could see Cruz sitting on a couch downstairs holding a large knife. The officers evacuated the residents without alerting Cruz and firefighters arrived with ladders to help them escape from the upstairs bedroom, police said. Once the equipment was in place, an officer climbed into the bedroom and began assisting the residents. He also put some large objects in front of the door to try to block it.Officers continued to watch Cruz through a downstairs window and midway through the evacuation he began moving up the stairs toward the bedroom.A second officer arrived at the bedroom window, and the officer inside the room heard the suspect coming upstairs. The officer ushered the remaining residents into the corner of the room farthest from the bedroom door and stood in front of them.Cruz came in holding the knife above his head, so the officer shot him several times and he fell to the floor, police said. Medical personnel were already at the home because of the fire rescue equipment, and Cruz was pronounced dead there, Fetherolf said. No one else was hurt. The officer who shot Cruz was identified as Lance Miraco, a 15-year Salinas police veteran. Miraco has been placed on routine paid administrative leave while the incident is investigated.
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