HAYWARD -- Police said their investigation into the fatal Dec. 30 shooting of Randall Liranzo by an officer is nearly complete, and they have concluded it was justifiable use of deadly force.

The officer had gone to the Depot Road property after a call came in about a dispute between a landlord and tenant around 9 a.m., police Lt. Roger Keener said.

Upon arriving, he determined that Liranzo -- whose family owns the property -- was inside a trailer on a lot behind the main house. Keener said that when Liranzo was ordered to come out, he answered with an expletive, then emerged holding a hunting knife with a 6-inch blade.

"The officer gave several commands to stop and drop the knife, but he did not," Keener said. "Instead he held the knife and continued toward the officer."

Keener said the officer fired when Liranzo was "within a few steps."

"Tasing a suspect with a knife is a bad idea because (the officer) is relying on both probes to impact the body," Keener said. "If one dart misses, the Taser is ineffective -- and think about how quickly you can close a gap of 15 feet."

Keener said that's critical when a bladed weapon comes into play.

"If they have a knife, and even if the officer was able to deliver a shot that ultimately results in death, studies show that a suspect could still cover 21 feet and deliver a fatal stab wound to the officer," he said.


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The District Attorney's Office also will conduct an investigation, but had not started it as of Thursday. Keener said the officer -- who has not been identified -- will remain on paid administrative leave until both investigations are completed as a matter of policy.

The officer has been with Hayward police for four years, previously serving seven years with the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office.

Liranzo's family -- which has deep roots in Hayward, particularly the Mt. Eden area -- released a statement saying they are "stunned and saddened to learn of Randy's tragic death."

"Though his life was plagued with some difficulty, he was loyal and kind, and cared deeply for his family and friends," read the statement. "The family is not currently in a position to comment on the circumstances of this tragedy, or the actions of the police officer involved in Randy's death."

Liranzo, 55, is survived by an adult son, his mother, and two sisters.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at Sorenson's Holy Mortuary, 1140 B St., Hayward.