Police were called to the scene at a San Leandro Walmart on Sunday afternoon following reports of a robbery and found a man just inside the store entrance wielding a baseball bat.
It turned out there was no robbery taking place, but San Leandro police arrived just after 3:30 p.m. and confronted the man, who can be seen in Twitter video of the incident continuing to hold onto the bat as officers aimed weapons at him. He allegedly threatened one or both of the police officers, and one of them shot him in the torso. He can be seen walking away from the officers after the shot was fired, and then dropping the bat just before collapsing on the floor.
The man has been identified as 33-year-old Steven Demarco Taylor of San Leandro, as KTVU reports.
In a statement to media, Lt. Ted Henderson of the San Leandro Police Department said, "Both officers deployed their tasers which was not successful. After those deployments, one officer fired one shot. The report is he was swinging a bat. We don't know how close he was to the officer."
San Leandro Walmart on Hesperian ⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️ pic.twitter.com/vsO0sW7aDF— Gabi🖤 (@_maamaas) April 19, 2020
Lt. Henderson further said, per ABC 7, "If there is a taser deployment, there has to be some type of perceived threat and this is an active threat."
A shopper at the store told ABC 7 that it was fairly crowded at the time of the incident. "It's scary. I was at the back of the store and all I heard was a bunch of people running," she said. And another anonymous shopper tells KTVU that some people thought there might be an active shooter situation. "Not knowing what’s going on you get kind of a lot of emotions, lotta fear," the shopper said. "You kind of want to cry just kind of based on the history that we have with active shooters..."
Reportedly, 20 witnesses are being interviewed in connection with the shooting. As the Chronicle reports, three investigations are now underway: an administrative review of the shooting, a criminal investigation, and an independent investigation by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.
It remains unclear why Taylor was swinging the bat or how the incident began.