SANTA CLARA -- Officers shot and killed a Santa Clara man who attacked his father with a knife moments after a fight between the two was thought to have been resolved by those same officers, police said.

The three officers who opened fire have been placed on administrative leave as Santa Clara police launch a joint investigation with the District Attorney's Office, all of which is routine in instances of officer-involved deaths.

Police were summoned to an apartment in the 1300 block of Reeve Street about 11:15 p.m. Wednesday after getting two 911 calls reporting that a 66-year-old man and his 41-year-old son were fighting. Officers arrived and seemingly settled the conflict, and left the apartment after the two men said they didn't need any more help from police.

The officers were just steps away from the building when they realized the arguing had resumed.

"From a distance, they could hear loud yelling," said Lt. Matt Hogan.

They returned to the apartment to discover the father and son entangled again, but this time the 41-year-old son was carrying a knife. The officers ordered him to drop the weapon, but he refused and advanced on his father in a threatening manner, Hogan said.

All three officers -- police department veterans of 16, 12, and 10 years -- opened fire.

"These three officers were fearing for the father's life, and were forced to fire their weapons to prevent a fatal assault," Hogan said.


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Emergency personnel declared the 41-year-old man, whose name was being withheld Thursday, dead at the scene. No one else was injured, including one other person who was in the apartment, Hogan said.

It was the second fatal officer-involved shooting involving Santa Clara police this year. On Jan. 14, an officer shot and killed a motorist who allegedly reached for a gun during a traffic stop. Police found a loaded handgun in the man's vehicle. Before that incident, the police department had gone nearly three years without a officer-involved shooting death.

Anyone with information about the case can contact Detective Sgt. Todd Cummins at 408-615-4813.

Contact Robert Salonga at 408-920-5002. Follow him at Twitter.com/robertsalonga.