Within a month, Glendale Police had two officer-involved shootings. Both were fatal.
The first came Oct. 13, when police responded to a call reporting multiple gunshots.
Early Sunday, Oct. 13, Levy Isaac Madueno Santibanez, 17, was shot and killed by a Glendale Police officer.
Police say Santibanez first fired a handgun at an officer responding to a late-night “illegal party” on 68th Avenue, south of Northern Avenue. The party took place in the parking lot of a warehouse on an industrial street.
On Nov. 4, Glendale Police fatally shot Matthew Rasmussen, 31, outside a Taco Bell on Olive and 43rd avenues.
Rasmussen previously had been arrested multiple times, including charges of resisting arrest and aggravated assault.
On Nov. 4, Rasmussen was behaving erratically and allegedly “made a stabbing motion” with a 12-inch surgical tool before an officer shot him multiple times, said Glendale Police spokesman John Roth.
The incident began at 5:15 p.m., when a security guard called 911 to report a man “who had his head covered by some kind of material was in the parking lot acting erratic and swinging some kind of metal object or pole,” Roth said.
Officers responded within five minutes and attempted to communicate with Rasmussen, who refused to obey orders, Roth said.
“Due to the caller’s concern regarding the displayed behavior of him swinging an object around in a public area with foot traffic nearby as well as the officer’s perceived threat to those around, officers determined that he needed to be detained,” Roth said.
“The decision was made by officers to attempt to ground the subject in order to detain him. Once the officers went hands-on with the subject, he produced what was described as (a) 12- to 16-inch metal surgical tool and began to swing it at both the officers in a stabbing motion, directed at the officer’s head and upper chest areas.
“Due to the immediate threat of bodily harm from the metal object, one of the officers discharged his duty weapon, striking the subject multiple times.”
Jay O’Neill, another Glendale Police spokesman, later said “two officers were involved in the physical struggle with Rasmussen. A third officer approached and it is unclear if he made physical contact with Rasmussen prior to the shooting taking place.”
The officer who fatally shot Rasmussen with a handgun was also armed with a non-lethal Taser, O’Neill said.
Police have not released the names of the officers involved in the Oct. 13, and Nov. 4 fatal shootings.
The department placed both officers on administrative leave, per policy, O’Neill said.
“Officers involved in a shooting are placed on administrative leave for a period of 3 workdays, but that can be extended based upon the circumstances,” O’Neill said.
The Glendale Star asked if the officers involved in the two shootings had returned to duty.
“I won’t comment on any extension for the officer for either the Oct. 13 shooting or the Nov. 4 shooting, or any other shooting,” O’Neill replied, via email.
“Our administrative leave per policy is three workdays (for an officer-involved shootings). However, I will not discuss specifics of any incident, to include extensions, as it could potentially be a violation of HIPAA.”
In both fatal shootings, O’Neill said, investigations are underway and typically can take “several months to a year.”
“The Glendale Police Department conducts two separate reviews of officer-involved shootings; an internal review and a criminal review,” O’Neill said.
Once a criminal report is completed, it is forwarded to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office for further review, O’Neill said. After findings of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office are returned to the Glendale Police Department, a Use of Force Board reviews the internal investigation.
“Upon completion of both the criminal and internal review, the findings are forwarded through the chain of command,” O’Neill said.
“That process can take anywhere from several months to a year.”
After television news stations played videos taken by partygoers at the Oct. 13 shooting, Glendale Police asked witnesses to the shooting to provide videos.Asked if videos had been received, O’Neill replied, “I’m not sure if we’ve obtained videos directly from those who recorded them.”