A woman holding a knife with a 5-inch blade Sunday advanced at three sheriff’s deputies and went toward a deputy who then shot and killed her, Santa Clara County sheriff’s officials said today. The sheriff’s office released results of an investigation into the deputy-involved shooting outside a triplex at 95 Cleveland Ave. in the Burbank section of unincorporated San Jose.
The trio of deputies, responding to a suspicious circumstances call at 12:17 a.m. Sunday, encountered the victim, Andrea Naharro-Gionet, 61, in the driveway of the triplex, according to sheriff’s Sgt. Kurtis Stenderup. Naharro-Gionet, who had been sitting on steps leading to the complex, got up and started walking quickly toward the deputies, who saw that she was holding a knife, Stenderup said. The deputies ordered her to drop the knife but Naharro-Gionet ignored them and advanced toward one of the deputies, who then went behind a patrol car in an attempt to resolve the matter, Stenderup said. Naharro-Gionet at first continued to pursue the deputy but then turned to the two others standing in the middle of Cleveland Avenue and yelling at her to drop the knife, Stenderup said.
The two deputies separated and Naharro-Gionet then focused on Deputy Jennifer Galan, who was backing up on the woman’s driveway, Stenderup said. Naharro-Gionet then went toward Galan and still refused to follow Galan’s orders to drop the weapon. When she was 3 to 5 feet away from the deputy, she raised the knife toward Galan, who then fired several rounds at the woman “in fear of her safety of being stabbed,” Stenderup said. Naharro-Gionet immediately dropped the knife. Efforts by emergency personnel to revive her were not successful and she was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Stenderup.
The sheriff’s office sent out a photo enlargement of the knife deputies said the woman used prior to the shooting. The Chinese-made knife, with a plastic handle, had a blade measuring about 135 millimeters, or about 5.3 inches, according to a measuring device included in the photo. Galan, who has been with the sheriff’s office for three years, had received training to deal with people suffering from mental illnesses, Stenderup said.
A friend, who would only identify himself as Tony, said on Monday that Naharro-Gionet had been drinking that evening and had been in a domestic dispute with her husband. Naharro-Gionet was on disability and suffered from multiple sclerosis, cancer and tuberculosis, the friend said. Tony and the woman’s neighbor at the triplex, Chris Contreras, said that the deputies should have used Tasers instead of deadly force to subdue Naharro-Gionet. People living in the neighborhood contributed to a makeshift memorial, with flowers and lit candles, set up Sunday on the driveway where she fell after the shooting.
Copyright © 2013 by Bay City News, Inc. — Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.