The San Diego Police Department Tuesday released video footage of the fatal shooting by a lawman of an assault suspect who allegedly threatened officers with a makeshift club last month at a Fairmount Park-area home.

Mitchel Tani, a nine-year member of the department, opened fire on 48-year-old Scholar Wang on the morning of Aug. 23, after the suspect allegedly attacked a police dog with the black metal bar at his residence in the 1500 block of Bridgeview Drive, and then repeatedly raised it above his head as officers approached him, according to the SDPD.

Video footage captured by Tani’s uniform-worn camera appears to show the club wielded by Wang, who was standing out of view of the recording device in a shower, repeatedly striking the animal as it barked and lunged at the suspect. After Wang repeatedly raised the bar over his head as officers approached, Tani fired three rounds at him.

Paramedics took to Wang to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police had gone to the neighborhood just east of state Route 15 and north of SR-94 shortly after 8 a.m. on a report that Wang had bludgeoned his aunts with a metal or wooden pole or stick during an argument at the home the three shared, according to SDPD public affairs.

Officers arrived to find the victims, ages 73 and 79, suffering from non-life-threatening injuries, including head lacerations, and wrist and forearm fractures.

Wang, meanwhile, had barricaded himself in a bathroom and refused repeated orders to disarm himself and come out, shouting at police in both English and Vietnamese.

During a nearly two-hour standoff, officers tried to persuade Wang to peacefully give himself up, then pumped pepper spray into the bathroom through a window in an attempt to force him out. Still, he refused to surrender.

Finally, the officers entered the residence through a back patio door, removed a barrier of furniture that Wang had created at the head of a hallway leading to the bathroom, kicked down the door to the lavatory and sent in the dog. Moments later, Tani opened fire, mortally wounding Wang.

City News Service contributed to this article.



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Ellen Bullock