Sparks police body camera footage shows fatal shooting of man who injured son with knife

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Sparks police fatally shot 59-year-old Francisco Pena on Aug. 22 in an apartment complex on Market Street.

Deputy Chief Tara Edmonson said that police were responding to a call from a woman who said Pena, her estranged husband, was threatening her and her sons with a knife.

Sparks released the body camera footage and dispatch calls on Thursday.

“He has a knife, and my younger son is asleep, and my 18-year-old son is trying to take it away from him,” the woman told 911 dispatchers.

She said that her older son was injured and still in the apartment with her husband, while she fled to a neighbor’s home to call police.

Body camera footage shows Sparks police running up a narrow staircase toward an open apartment door where Pena stands holding a small utility knife next to his older son.

Police yelled at Pena to show his hands and drop the knife before they fired three shots, striking him in the chest.

After he was shot, Pena can be heard yelling, “I hate you guys. I can’t believe you all. I can’t believe you all. … F--- you.”

Police ushered the son out of the building, then cleared the apartment and attempted to deliver medical aid until paramedics arrived.

One officer can be heard saying, “I don’t know how to check for a pulse.”

Another officer grabs a kitchen towel and has a second officer begin CPR compressions with the towel covering Pena’s chest.

Pena was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

In a critical incident briefing video, Edmonson explained the officers’ justification for shooting Pena.

“Due to the close proximity of (Pena) to his injured son, the officers, and his refusal to drop the knife, (officers) believed he presented an imminent and immediate threat of death or serious bodily harm,” she said.

Later in the investigation, Sparks police said they found Pena had also brought a semiautomatic rifle to the apartment.

The wife told dispatch that she had been out of town and Pena was in the home when she returned.

“I just got home and he attacked me,” she said. “He is my estranged husband. He just came over. He doesn’t live with me for three years.”

Washoe County is conducting an investigation on the incident.

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