Mom's call for help ends in police shooting — (SFGate)

To view original story click here.


Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer

Published 4:00 am, Wednesday, August 18, 2010

PDT BURLINGAME — A Burlingame woman’s call to police for help in dealing with her mentally ill son set off a chain of events that ended with officers shooting the man to death, authorities and relatives said Tuesday.

Edgar Aristondo, 20, of Burlingame was shot outside his home Monday evening on the 200 block of Myrtle Road near Howard Avenue, authorities said.  Officers shot him after he threatened them with a “large, serrated steak-type knife” and advanced on them even after being hit with a Taser shock weapon, police Capt. Mike Matteucci said.

However, Aristondo’s mother, Gladys Aristondo, 47, later denied that her son had been armed with a knife and said there had been no reason for officers to shoot him.

“I am angry,” she said. “I needed help. I did not want the police to kill my son. The police shot my son and killed my son very quickly.”

Matteucci was not immediately available to respond to her comments.

The incident began when Gladys Aristondo placed a 911 call around 8:30 p.m. In an interview, Aristondo said her son suffered from depression and had been drinking and refusing to take his medication.

When officers arrived, Edgar Aristondo was outside in the street and advanced on them with a knife, Matteucci said.

“The officers were placed in a position where they had to defend themselves,” Matteucci said.

One officer fired a Taser shock weapon, but Aristondo continued to advance, Matteucci said.

Another officer then shot Aristondo, Matteucci said. Aristondo was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The knife was recovered at the scene.

The officers were placed on routine paid administrative leave pending investigations by police and the San Mateo County district attorney’s office. Their names have not been released.

Gladys Aristondo said that when her son began exhibiting troubling behavior Monday, she first called his therapist for help. The therapist told her to call the police, she said.

This was not the first time she had to call authorities about her son, she said. About two years ago, Edgar Aristondo overdosed on medication. His mother called police, and he was hospitalized, she said.

E-mail Henry K. Lee at

Read more: