Man with knife shot, killed by Pinal County Sheriff's deputy

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

SAN MANUEL, Ariz. -- An Arizona man was shot and killed by a Pinal County Sheriff's deputy after he allegedly threatened the deputy with a knife.

 
The sheriff's office was called around 8:30 p.m. Friday, after 37-year-old Daniel Mejia, of San Manuel, reportedly confronted a man in the 200 block of South McNab Parkway with a large knife.
 
The man's wife reported that Mejia was swinging the knife in her driveway, as if praticing stabbing and jabbing. She said Mejia then apparently had a confrontation with a light pole, and stabbed and shaved the pole.
 
He also reportedly stood on one foot as if he was teetering on the edge of a cliff.
 
A deputy responded and located Mejia within minutes near McNab Parkway and San Pedro River Road.
 
Mejia allegedly ignored the deputy's commands to drop the knife, and instead advanced toward the deputy and threatened to harm him.
 
The deputy reportedly pointed his handgun at Mejia and told him to stay back. According to the sheriff's office, the deputy shot Mejia when he continued to advance toward the deputy.
 
A family member told detectives Mejia always carried two knives and suffered from mental health issues.
 
“Law enforcement across the country are frequently put into crisis situations involving people affected by mental disorders," Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said in a statement. "Dealing with individuals who suffer from mental illness is often difficult as it carries the potential for violence. In this case, the deputy feared for his life as Mejia came towards him with a knife and he refused to obey his commands. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Mejia family who lost their son and also to our deputy who was forced into this situation.”