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Shot California Man Pointed Water Nozzle at Officers

December 14, 2010  | 

Photo courtesy of Long Beach PD.

Long Beach (Calif.) Police officers fatally shot a man who had pointed a water nozzle at them that a neighbor described as a "six shooter" during a 911 call, according to the agency.

Douglas Zerby, 35, pointed the nozzle at officers who responded to his residence at 4:40 p.m. Sunday in the 5300 block of Ocean Boulevard. Two people inside the calling party's residence told police they could see a man on a porch landing with a gun.

Responding officers confirmed the subject appeared to be armed with a handgun, and positioned themselves so they could watch the suspect while waiting for additional officers, including the Air Support Unit and Mental Evaluation Team.

The officers did not immediately contact the subject to allow time for those resources to arrive and lock down the area, to prevent the subject from escaping the location while armed, according to the agency.

Officers believed the subject to be intoxicated and holding what appeared to be a handgun. As additional units were responding, the subject pointed what officers believed was a handgun at the apartment building.

While sitting down, Zerby used a two-handed pistol grip of the object and fully extended his arms like someone about to fire a handgun. When the subject pointed the object at one of the officers, two officers fired their weapons at the suspect, striking him in the torso multiple times.

Zerby actually had possession of a black pistol grip water nozzle with a metal tip.

Zerby's family reacted angrily, promising to file suit against the department. Mourners yelled "murder," and held signs with "Shoot First Ask Questions Later," reports the Los Angeles Times.

Comments (5)

Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

jcellis @ 12/14/2010 9:23 PM

Sounds like suicide by police to me.Relatives and "friends"better think
twice before filing a lawsuit against responding officers and their dept.

LupusMilitis @ 12/15/2010 11:43 AM

To the family and "mourners" (more appropriately, professional LE protesters with nothing better to do): Sorry for your loss. I'm sure that with the benefit of hindsight and the omnipotence you obviously possess, this was a completely avoidable tragedy and one that should have been dealt with more professionally and by better trained officers...yadda, yadda. I'm sure that's along the lines your lawsuit will read. But in reality people, let me ask you something. Your beloved family member, drunk or disabled, whatever the case may be, was lucid enough to know that he had something in his hand that resembled a firearm...else he would not have been pointing that object like a handgun. So my question is this: When you are in possession of an object that LOOKS like a gun, which you are holding LIKE a gun and pointing it as if IT IS a gun, what part of pointing said object at a police officer on scene strikes any of you as intelligent behavior? Sad? Sure. I feel for the family. But I feel more sympathy for what those officers may be dealing with due to their COMPLETELY understandable actions on scene that day. I only hope that they don't hold this against themselves. They obviously, AT THE TIME, felt that their lives were in danger. Let's just hope that the Monday morning quarterbacking doesn't make them feel they made the wrong choice. Hindsight can be brutal that way.

detmac135 @ 12/15/2010 7:16 PM

Pretty sure that I would have done the exact same thing if I had this guy pointing that at me with a double handed grip as described.

deltacharlieone @ 12/21/2010 10:56 AM

Well this is the saddest looking gun I have ever seen looks more like the Blaster from Star Wars or some nozzle from a Flame thrower...

Blacksmith1189 @ 3/16/2011 12:29 PM

Deltacharlieone, that's easy to say when you’re looking at a blown up picture! Try standing back about 75-100 feet, with the suspect holding the object in this hand, simulating it's real, and you taking cover. Now, let’s see if you have the same opinion. Oh, did they mention several calls from the neighbors of a suspect with a gun on the porch? You have to get off the bench and in the game because it's real on the streets. Officers should practice restraint, but not when it could easily cost them their lives. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the four police officers killed within the last week.

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