Man Killed in Possible Suicide-by-Officer — (1200 News Radio WOAI)

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1200 News Radio WOAI

LAST UPDATE: 7/18/2005 7:06:40 AM

Posted By: Dale Blasingame

A police officer shot and killed a man early Sunday morning, but it looks like the suspect may have planned it that way.

A 14-year-old boy called police to his house on Belclaire, saying his dad and his future step-mom were fighting.

“Officers went back to the garage,” said SAPD Officer Joe Rios. “(They) heard the arguing, heard a struggle inside, heard the commotion.”

Police found Stephen Hastings, 44, and a woman struggling over a gun.

“Officers drew their service weapons and ordered the suspect to drop the weapon,” said Rios.

Police say the woman then backed away and Hastings pointed his gun at the officer.

“The officer fired one time striking him in the chest,” said Rios.

Hastings was killed after that shot severed his spinal cord, but according to the police report, that’s what he wanted. Family members told police Hastings drank six beers, was on anti-depressants, and threatened to end his own life.

“We didn’t have any prior knowledge before walking in that could have been the case,” said Rios. “In that timing, it was such a split-second decision.”

The police report also says when Hastings’ fianc頴old him police were on their way, he said, ‘You did me a favor by calling police. I am going to point the gun at them and they will shoot me.’

That’s exactly what happened.

“The officers are also going through a traumatic experience,” said Rios. “The last thing they ever want to do is take somebody’s life.”

The officer who fired the shot is a 17-year-veteran of the police department. He’s now on desk duty while the department investigates.