SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.-- Friends and family members of a 25 year-old Marine killed Saturday by a Scottsdale police lieutenant are questioning the use of lethal force.
Police said the man, Sgt. Jason Prostrollo, came at them holding pieces of a pool cue and would not surrender.
"I understand police officers have a tough job to do and somebody made a snap decision, but I would like to know why so much force was used with a kid who is less than 6 feet tall with a dog and police officers involved when it could have been handled a different way?" said Bill Prathen, a friend of Prostrollo's.
Prostrollo's family echoed that sentiment, telling 3TV in a statement: "We have lots of unanswered questions and we are concerned about lethal force as the only option available."
Scottsdale police said they initially attempted a less-lethal tactic by deploying a K-9 police dog, but Prostrollo still would not surrender.
It all started when Prostrollo left a bar near Scottsdale Road and Shea Boulevard and went back to the North Scottsdale home of a couple with whom he had been playing pool.
Police said Prostrollo got in an argument with the male homeowner and left in a cab. They said he pulled a knife on the cab driver and demanded he be taken back to the home.
When he arrived back at the house police say he brandished the knife again, and the couple called 911.
Scottsdale police Sgt. Mark Clark said Prostrollo approached officers with two pieces of a pool cue in his hand.
"He was making threatening gestures he was coming at the officers, appeared to be intoxicated and aggressive; he would not listen to our commands to stop," Clark said.
That's when the officers unleashed the K-9. The dog bit Prostrollo but police said he continued to act aggressively.
"We had the less lethal option, the dog option; unfortunately that didn't work," Clark said. "He kept coming at our officers and at that point [the lieutenant] had to fire."
Lt. Ron Bayne, a 19-year veteran of the Scottsdale police force, fired two rounds. One struck and killed Prostrollo. The second hit and injured the K-9 "Raider."
Clark said the officers did not attempt to use a Taser® because it was too windy at the time.
Prostrollo served two tours of duty in Iraq and had been working as a waiter and a bouncer according to friends.