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Glendale police release new information in officer-involved shooting outside Taco Bell

Posted at 10:11 AM, Dec 13, 2019

GLENDALE, AZ — The Glendale Police Department has released new information, including body worn camera footage, in the November 4 officer-involved shooting outside of a Taco Bell near 43rd and Olive avenues.

The deadly shooting took place around 5:15 p.m., when a man, later identified as Matthew Rasmussen, was found standing in a Taco Bell parking lot with a cloth covering his face, holding a pair of 12-inch metal medical forceps, according to police.

Officer Joshua Anderkin, a four-year veteran of the Glendale Police Department, arrived on scene and attempted to establish a " rapport with Rasmussen while giving him commands to drop the sharp metal object."

Body camera footage shows Anderkin attempting to talk to Rasmussen, even offering to buy him food.

"Put that on the ground and we can help you out," Anderkin can be heard saying. "You wanna go to a doctor? You want some food? I'll get you some food. Just put that thing on the ground for me."

Glendale police say Rasmussen was non-verbal and continued to wave the forceps above his head.

RELATED: Officer shoots, kills man outside Taco Bell in Glendale

"As Officer Anderkin tried to engage Rasmussen, a second officer arrived, and then a third. The third officer first told the people inside the Taco Bell to evacuate, and then, seizing an opportunity, tried to disarm Rasmussen by tackling him," Glendale police wrote in a press release.

After the officer tackled Rasmussen, he reportedly "began violently swinging the sharp metal object at the officers, attempting to stab them."

Glendale police say less-lethal options and mental health crisis teams were not available at the time of the shooting, and due to Rasmussen's proximity to Taco Bell customers, they decided “to go hands-on.”

Anderkin fired three rounds from his handgun, police said, hitting Rasmussen three times.

Glendale police told ABC15 in an email that Glendale Fire arrived at the scene four minutes after being dispatched. Paramedics left the scene 10 minutes later and arrived at the hospital 22 minutes after they were dispatched. Rasmussen was later pronounced dead.

Court documents dated from July 2019 show criminal charges in one case against Rasmussen were dropped because he wasn't competent and couldn't understand the court proceedings.

He was sent to a mental health facility in Mesa and was said at the time to be a danger to himself and others. At some point, Rasmussen was released from the facility.

You can watch the video released by the Glendale Police Department here. Viewer discretion is advised.