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Family of man police shot in Alhambra want to know why real bullets were used

Tony Nim, a 35-year-old Alhambra resident who police shot dead on May 17, suffered from mental illness for years, World Journal (世界日报) reports.

Nim’s father told World Journal he wants to know why police used a real gun instead of a Taser on his son, and to understand why they killed him.

Nim’s family said that he had lapsed into an attack a few days before he entered the Alhambra Police Department brandishing a knife. When police could not communicate with him after attempting in various languages, he was shot multiple times. The names of the police officers have not been released. 

The family told World Journal they want the police to provide the videotape of the incident. Nim’s father said that many police officers entered and searched his house after his son's death. The police took away Tony Nim’s laptop, iPad, the medicine he took and Nim’s father’s computer. The police said that they cannot release the videotape of the incident to the family for three months due to the investigation.

Nim’s father told World Journal in an interview on May 19 that he did not want the public to regard his son as a murderer. The Nim family immigrated from Vietnam in 1979, and Nim was 2 years old when he came to the United States. Nim’s father said that his son was healthy until he was diagnosed with mental ilness after graduating from Alhambra High School. He lived with his parents and did not have a stable job. His father said that he took medicine regularly, but sometimes he exhibited violent behavior and was arrested twice due to fighting and possessing marijuana.

The Pasadena Star-News reports that he actually had four prior arrests by Alhambra police for cultivation of marijuana, grand theft, under the influence and battery on a peace officer, as well as other arrests from Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriffs.

Sergeant Gerald Johnson of the Alhambra Police Department told the Star-News that in addition to a LA County Sheriff's and District Attorney investigation, the department would launch an internal investigation.

The Alhambra Source encourages comment on our stories. However, we do not vet comments for accuracy or endorse links to posts in the comment section. The thoughts and opinions expressed belong solely to the author of the comment.

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9 thoughts on “Family of man police shot in Alhambra want to know why real bullets were used”

  1. *Fullerton police officer, not Irvine

  2. Time & time again we hear/see this same story repeat ittself & it seems police officers are not trained to recognzie & deal with mentally ill people & this will continue unless those in charge develop better training for police officers on recognizing & dealing with mentally ill people

  3. That’s the problem there. Police are trained to shoot to kill. Not subdue. Maybe it was necessary. But if it was someone you loved, wouldn’t you like to know at least the police tried to subdue that person first?

    1. They did and he did not respond.

  4. So he attacks an officer with a knife and they ask why a taser wasn’t used? Let me answer very quickly. Police are trained to end the threat as quickly as possible. They are trained to use whatever force is necessary. Not to stun the dude with a taser. This family needs to realize that a taser does not always work. What happens if it malfunctions and he stabs that officer in the throat?

    1. A couple shots to his limbs by ONE officer would have been sufficient. Three officers shooting at a man with a knife is overkill, this is murder. It would be interesting to know how many shots were fired at him and what parts of his body were hit. Just like the Bart officer in Oakland and the officers in Irvine, hope justice prevails for this mentally ill man. Alhambra police do nothing but harass people leaving the clubs and traffic stops that they feel they all have to show up at. Better training is paramount.

      1. Harassing people on main st ? I guarantee u if the cops don’t show presence on main st it goes to garbage. The clients throuought the nightlife are nothing but gangsters and trouble makers. And if u don’t like being stopped then obey the law

  5. If you don’t want the police to use deadly force on you, not threaten them with deadly force.

  6. How would the police be able to determine that this person was simply having a mental breakdown and to use less than lethal force to subdue him?

    I’ve been through the Alhambra Citizens Police training and it is almost impossible to predict the actions of people with weapons and violent intentions.