Police shoot, kill sword-wielding man near Arizona State Fairgrounds


by Catherine Holland

Video report by Tess Rafols

Posted on February 13, 2014 at 6:20 AM

Updated Friday, Feb 21 at 1:37 PM

Map: 19th Avenue and Culver Street

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PHOENIX -- Police confirm that Phoenix officers shot and killed a sword-wielding man in the course of a confrontation Thursday morning.

It happened after 5:30 a.m. in the area of 19th Avenue and Culver Street, which is just north of Interstate 10 and south of the Arizona State Fairgrounds.

According to police, a sergeant was on patrol when he saw a suspicious vehicle. It was the license plate that caught his attention. It apparently did not belong with the vehicle.

The sergeant called for backup and two officers responded.

The trio approached the vehicle to talk to the man who was sitting inside. They asked the man to get out of the vehicle. Police say he complied, but as he did, he began swinging a samurai sword at the officers.

Aerial video from the Fort McDowell Casino News Chopper showed what appeared to be a sword in a sheath on the ground next to a police vehicle.

According to police, the officers used their Tasers, but were unable to subdue the man.

At that point, the officers shot and killed him.

The three officers were not injured.

The man was identified as Jose Manuel Meza Avendano, a 21-year-old Hispanic man.

Police closed 19th Avenue between I-10 and McDowell Road to conduct their investigation. Sgt. Steve Martos tweeted that the closure probably would remain in place through the morning rush hour.