Bodycam footage shows knife-wielding man advancing on Calif. deputies

Deputies had responded to a 911 call about a man armed with a knife attempting to break into a church and school


By Shawn Jansen
Merced Sun-Star

MERCED, Calif. — The Mariposa County Sheriff's Office has released body-worn camera footage of the moment a deputy fatally shot a knife-wielding man outside a church and school.

No one else was hurt in the Nov. 30 shooting, reported at the First Baptist Church of Mariposa on Frank Wilson Road north of Highway 49.

Deputies responded after receiving a 911 call from the school's principal about a man armed with knife who attempted to break in.

The suspect was later identified as Joshua Antelope, 24, an unhoused person from Mariposa County.

Antelope was seen by school staff walking outside First Baptist Church carrying a knife. He broke a window to the church where staff was present, according to the Sheriff's Office.

The principal attempted to contact Antelope, but the suspect chased him. The principal went back into the school and placed it on lockdown, the Sheriff's Office said.

The video also contains audio of the 911 call the principal made at 9:15 a.m. where he asks for help because "I've got a guy wielding a knife."

Just after 9:18 a.m., Deputy Maya and Deputy Atkinson arrived and contacted the suspect, who is clearly seen in the video carrying a knife.

Maya's body-worn camera video footage shows the deputy telling Antelope, "Show me your hands! Do it now! Drop the knife!"

However, Antelope kept walking toward the deputy, who told the suspect to drop the knife five times before finally firing two shots that struck him in the torso.

Deputy Maya then reported "shots fired" into the radio.

Deputy Atkinson's body-worn camera also shows Atkinson telling Antelope to drop the knife after he's heard saying, "He's approaching, he's approaching," into his radio.

According to the Sheriff's Office, deputies rendered medical aid after the shooting and attempted life-saving measures. Additional first responders arrived on the scene.

Antelope had been carrying a 12 inch-long butcher knife, according to the department.

All deputies involved in the shooting were immediately placed on administrative leave pending an investigation, which is standard procedure.

The incident is being investigated by an independent-contracted investigating firm, according to the Sheriff's Office.

The Mariposa County Sheriff's Office is also conducting an internal review of the incident.

(c)2022 the Merced Sun-Star (Merced, Calif.)
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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