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‘Drop the swords!’ Police dashcam video shows how fatal Grandview shooting unfolded

Grandview police yell, “Drop the swords! Drop the swords!” at manic man as they open fire

Moments before Grandview police officers fatally shot a man wielding swords during a manic diabetic reaction on July 1, officers hoisting high-powered shotguns positioned themselves behind a parked SUV and ordered the man to drop his weapons.
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Moments before Grandview police officers fatally shot a man wielding swords during a manic diabetic reaction on July 1, officers hoisting high-powered shotguns positioned themselves behind a parked SUV and ordered the man to drop his weapons.

Seconds before Grandview police officers fatally shot a 60-year-old man wielding swords who was having a manic diabetic reaction on July 1, officers hoisting high-powered rifles positioned themselves behind a parked SUV and ordered the man to drop his weapons.

Then — as police dashcam video obtained by The Star reveals — everything happened within moments.

The video shows Larry San Nicolas, who lived in the 6000 block of 148th Terrace, as he emerged from his house armed with long swords in each hand.

Several officers repeatedly yelled: “Drop the swords! Drop the swords!”

As beanbags struck San Nicolas, he momentarily staggered sideways, but he did not stop advancing down the driveway toward the officers.

The entire time, officers used a blue Jeep Grand Cherokee that blocked the driveway as a barrier. One of the officers had a rifle with a beanbag propellant device. The other officer was armed with a service rifle. Other armed officers positioned themselves near and in front of the house.

They opened fire when San Nicolas refused their commands.

Bullets hit San Nicolas in the chest, hand and lower abdomen. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he later died.

The Missouri Highway Patrol investigated the shooting. Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker determined that the officer’s actions that day were reasonable and declined to file criminal charges in the shooting.

“Under Missouri law, the officer was not required, under these facts, to allow the civilian to completely close the distance with the swords or strike an officer with deadly force before employing his own force,” Peters Baker wrote in a Nov. 19 letter to Grandview Police Chief Larry Iseman.

No one from the Grandview Police Department was available for an interview on Friday but released the following statement: “The quickly unfolding events of July 1 ended tragically. The Grandview Police Department requested and fully cooperated with the investigation conducted by the Missouri State Highway Patrol. While our officers have been cleared of any wrongdoing, we know this does little to comfort the San Nicolas family and we again offer our sympathies to all affected.”

Relatives of San Nicolas could not be reached for comment Friday. Relatives have said they were devastated by the shooting.

Family had called police on July 1 to help calm San Nicolas, who needed insulin. His wife, Jessie San Nicolas, said the day after the shooting that she wanted police to come with paramedics and help her husband, who was out of control and brandishing a sword.

Larry and Jessie San Nicolas.jpg
Larry San Nicolas and his wife, Jessie San Nicolas Courtesy of the family

“It all happened so fast,” his wife said. “Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!”

A relative who witnessed the incident from a house across the street yelled for the officers not to shoot. Others also captured the incident on video, but this is the first time Grandview police video has been released.

The wife of the 60-year-old man killed by Grandview police spoke out with family at her side, questioning why police used lethal force to bring him down as he held a sword, suffering from a manic diabetic insulin episode.

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Glenn E. Rice covers crime, courts and breaking news for The Kansas City Star, where he’s worked since 1988. Rice is a Kansas City native and a graduate of the University of Central Missouri.


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