Family of sword-wielding Grandview man killed by police feel officers used excessive force

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GRANDVIEW, Mo. -- Police were called in to help, but the metro woman who made that call watched as it ended in her husband's death.

Investigators say 60-year-old Larry San Nicolas threatened officers with a katana-style sword on July 1. His wife, Jessica San Nicolas, said she called police to defuse the situation and help him take his medicine, but she never imagined it would be his end.

In cellphone video of the incident that FOX4 obtained from a neighbor, you can hear the officer giving San Nicolas commands.

Larry San Nicolas

"Larry, both hands in the air. Drop the sword! Drop the sword!" the officer commanded.

The incident left his family and neighbors in shock. Neighbor Brandon Hitchner saw the whole thing.

"Woah," Hitchner said. "You know, that's crazy. I can't believe they did that."

"I was yelling, 'Why did you shoot?' And the bullets kept going," Jessica San Nicolas said.

Family members said San Nicolas was confused after what they believe was a diabetic issue.

"His sugar levels had to have been very high. He was erratic," Jessica San Nicolas said.

Police arrived with AR-15s. Before using deadly force, they shot him twice with sandbags, which officers say didn't phase him.

"If I didn't call them, he wouldn't be dead. They said I was calling for help. 'You can't feel bad. You were thinking they were going to help him.' Instead, now I feel guilt because instead of getting help, he's dead," his widow said.

Jessica San Nicolas

Grandview police issued a statement, saying all sworn officers receive 40 hours of crisis training within their first year of service. The Missouri State Highway Patrol said both officers who fired have been Grandview officers for more than 10 years.

San Nicolas' son Frank Arceo said, as a trained veteran, he doesn't understand why officers shot his dad when they had the ability to take cover behind a parked car.

"To me, when you're behind cover and you open fire with an AR-15, and you shoot him in the gut, those rounds are meant to kill. They're not meant to stop you," Arceo said.

"What happened to wound him? What happened to taser? They didn't take the time," Jessica San Nicolas said.

His family wants people to know he was a kind man. They believe he suffered a medical issue and didn't understand what he was doing at the time.

"I don't want everybody to think he was some samurai trying to rush out and commit suicide because he wasn't," Arceo said.

"He put everybody first before himself. Everybody," Jessica San Nicolas said.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol said they don't believe San Nicolas had a criminal history or that officers had ever been called to the house to investigate a crime. The family said, about a year ago, he had a similar incident where the Grandview Fire Department came and administered aid.

San Nicolas' autopsy was conducted on July 2, and a toxicology test was performed to see if drugs or alcohol were involved in this incident. It should also show if he was having a medical emergency at the time of the shooting.

FOX4 reached out to the Grandview Police Department multiple times on July 2 about the employment status of both officers who fired their weapons. We did not receive a response.

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