California prosecutors have determined that the fatal shooting of Thompson Nguyen near a San Jose power plant was a justified homicide.
The shooting occurred back on January 9, 2018, and it wasn’t Nguyen’s first encounter with law enforcement. Previously, police had been called to his home. At that time, he was carrying a knife around the house (to protect his family from aliens, according to the investigative report), but family members asked the police to leave because they didn’t want Nguyen to get shot. Nguyen had also been placed on a 5150 psychiatric hold in September 2017 after walking into traffic and yelling his girlfriend’s name. At that time, he was diagnosed with psychosis, but according to his family, he may never have received any medication.
Then, in January, Nguyen took amphetamines and went to a Calpine-operated plant on Metcalf road. In his backpack, he had several knives, handcuffs, a flashlight, pepper spray and a fake police badge. Additionally, in his vehicle, he had three poles, a sword, seven knives, a nun chuck, a GoPro camera and the two journals. When he encountered police, he had an axe in his raised hand. Police beseeched Nguyen repeatedly to comply with them, saying they didn’t want to shoot, but he ignored those requests.
Here is footage of the key moments (and below that is the full 10-minute video):
In the report that confirmed the justification of this shooting, Deputy District Attorney David Boyd wrote, “Any reasonable officer would conclude that Nguyen, whether as a result of a mental health issue or not, had decided that he was going to die that day and that if he had to attack an officer with a weapon to make it happen, he was going to do so.”