Police fatally shoot man accused of attacking officers with rake

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. -- A police officer fatally shot a 32-year-old man named Sean Arlt early Sunday morning after he allegedly attacked officers while they were responding to a disturbance at a Santa Cruz home.

The incident began around 3:30 a.m., when officers responded to a home in the 200 block of Chace Street, after a resident said a man was "pounding" at his front door, according to police.

While officers were on their way to the home, the resident again called 911 a second time, saying the man was now at the home's backdoor, yelling he was wanted to kill everyone inside, police said.

Police said when officers arrived at the home, they located the suspect in the home's backyard. When they tried to take him into custody, the man allegedly attacked officers with a metal bow rake.

Santa Cruz residents are questioning the police department's use of deadly force. "Well I heard the shouting and then some shots," neighbor Larry Millsap said.

"He was a little guy. He wasn't as big as I am. So even with his rake I don't see how he could've been a threat," Millsap said.

Police say they made three Taser deployments and retreated until they were backed up to cars.

Then, an officer fired two shots, striking Arlt who died from his wounds. "I'm appalled. I mean the guy turned out to be a friend of the family and I saw him around, he use to play lacrosse with the boys next door," Millsap said.

Officers rendered aid to the man after he was shot before emergency crews arrived. However, police said he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Arlt's family lives in the neighborhood and have been too upset to talk.

An officer recorded audio of the confrontation, but it hasn't been released.

Police describe Arlt's behavior as erratic and it's unclear at this time why he approached the home.

Bay City News contributed to this story.
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