Cop kills double amputee 'armed' with pen

Last updated 14:13 23/09/2012

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A US police officer has shot and killed a one-armed, one-legged man in a wheelchair after the double amputee waved a metal object that turned out to be a pen.

Police spokeswoman Jodi Silva said the man cornered the officer at a group home on Saturday and was making threats while trying to stab the officer with the pen.

At the time, the officer did not know what man was waving, Silva said.

She said the man came "within inches to a foot" of the officer and did not follow instructions to calm down and remain still.

"Fearing for his partner's safety and his own safety, he discharged his weapon," Silva said.

Police did not immediately release the name of the man who was killed.

They had been called to the home in Houston, Texas, after a caretaker there reported that a man in a wheelchair was causing a disturbance.

The owner of the group home, John Garcia, told the Houston Chronicle that the man had a history of mental illness and had been living at the house about 18 months.

Garcia said the man had told him he lost a leg above the knee and one arm when he was hit by a train.

"He sometimes would go off a bit, but you just ignore it," Garcia told the newspaper.

Silva identified the officer as Matthew Jacob Marin, a five-year veteran of the department.

He was immediately placed on three-day administrative leave, which is standard in all shootings involving officers.

Houston police records indicate that Marin also fatally shot a suspect in 2009.

Investigators at the time said Marin came upon a man stabbing his neighbour to death at an apartment complex and opened fire when the suspect refused to drop the knife.

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- AP

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