FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE / KGPE) – A man was shot and killed by Fresno Police late Saturday night, after he allegedly would not drop a knife officers repeatedly told him to, the department says.

Investigators say shortly after 11:00 p.m. a Fresno police sergeant and a police officer noticed a man walking near a secured gated area outside of the Southwest Policing District Station in the 1200 block of Fresno Street in southwest Fresno. 

According to police, the suspect pulled out a seven inch fixed-blade knife after repeated questions from the officers as to what he was doing.

They say the pair repeatedly told him to drop the knife and get on the ground, but he refused.

It was then, the department says, that a third officer inside the substation heard the commotion over the radio and went outside.

Investigators say that between the two officers and the sergeant, they continued to order the suspect to drop the knife, but instead he moved closer to the officers with the knife still in hand.

They also say he made an “aggressive movement,” forcing the officers to shoot him. 

The department says the suspect was struck by the gunfire and fell to the ground; officers say they immediately provided him life-saving measures before he was transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

The department says all three officers involved in the incident have been placed on routine administrative leave while the case is investigated.

In a statement to the media, Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama says, “Although it is early in the investigation, it is probable the deceased person was suffering from mental health issues. The loss of life is always a tragedy, but even more so when persons suffering from mental illness are unable to get assistance for their condition. This puts them, the public, and the police in danger when confronted by an unresponsive, desperate person, who in this case was armed with a knife and advanced at officers. As a state and a community, we must do better.”