Santa Barbara officials disclosed on Tuesday that the man shot and killed by police Sunday night had a lengthy criminal history. Brian Tacadena, 46, had been booked into County Jail numerous times between 1986 and 2005, said Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Kelly Hoover, and records indicate he had been arrested at least two dozen times over the years for various weapons- and drug-related felonies. Officials would not go into further detail on Tacadena’s crimes, citing the ongoing investigation into his death.
When asked about departmental protocol for using deadly force on a suspect, SBPD spokesperson Sgt. Riley Harwood said: “Basically, if an officer is threatened with what would amount to a lethal force — some type of force that would likely cause death or serious bodily injury — then the officer can counter that with lethal force. That is what our training dictates.
“If you think of the types of equipment that an officer has on their person, typically the firearm is the only lethal weapon that they have,” Harwood added, “Typically, an officer would not consider using a taser on a suspect with a knife.” According to other sources, academy training teaches that if a knife-wielding suspect is 20 feet away, he or she could potentially charge the officer in a matter of seconds.
The last time a suspect was shot and killed by an SBPD officer was during Fiesta in 2007, said Harwood. In March 2005, a man suspected to be high on methamphetamine was shot and killed after he charged officers with a knife.