Anthony Banta was shot and killed on Dec. 27 by Walnut Creek police after threatening four officers with a 10-inch chef’s knife, refusing numerous orders to drop the weapon and preparing to charge toward them.
Those were the new details on the incident outlined by Police Chief Joel Bryden at a press conference Monday.
Officers were dispatched to the apartments at 1450 Creekside Dr. at 3:13 a.m. Dec. 27, after a 9-1-1 call from a woman included screaming and a plea for help, before the line went dead, Bryden said. When officers arrived, they found 22-year-old Banta at the top of the stairs. Bryden said Banta charged toward them with a 10-inch blade, at which point officers opened fire. Just how many shots were fired and by whom is not being released pending further investigation, he added.
Those details may emerge after a coroner’s inquest takes place in the next few months. Bryden said the department is waiting on toxicology reports that might reveal if Banta was on drugs at the time.
Responding to a question from the audience as to why officers didn’t use less lethal force, such as a Taser or shooting the suspect in the foot to prevent him charging at officers, to subdue Banta, Bryden said that such actions “happen on television, they don’t happen in real life.”
The couple who made the original 9-1-1 call told police that they believed Banta was going to hurt or kill them. Banta had no criminal record, and those who knew him said he was a gentle young man who showed no violent tendencies.