The weapon that forced Mesa officers to fatally shoot a man Sunday afternoon was a BB gun, police said.
"I’m going to cap you," Michael Howard told the officers, lifting his shirt to reveal the tucked-away gun that looked like a real handgun, police said. The 39-year-old Scottsdale man then pulled the BB gun out and pointed it at officers. When he refused to drop it, they shot him multiple times.
The officers, Ryan Gallaugher and Juan Padilla, have been placed on paid administrative leave — standard department policy in an officer-involved shooting.
Padilla has been commended several times throughout his 12-year career and was named the department’s top officer in 2003. Gallaugher has been with Mesa police for five years and has a good history with the department. The incident is the first officer-involved shooting for both men.
Police began looking for Howard after someone called 911 to report a possible drunken driver. A second caller led them to a home in the 900 block of East Jasmine Street, where Howard was repairing a tire when the officers approached.