FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Police say 47-year-old Sean Pottorff refused to put down his gun during a confrontation near First and Dakota, around 6 p.m. Saturday.
A Central Fresno apartment complex became a crime scene Saturday night after a Fresno Police Officer shot an armed man identified as 47-year-old Sean Pottorff.
Chief Jerry Dyer said Pottorff lowered the weapon from his head and pointed it at officers.
"The officers repeatedly, over about a 10 minute period, pleaded with this individual to put the gun down, that they would get him the assistance that he needed," said Dyer.
"When he had his gun to his head, I couldn't see him I saw the three officers with their gun draws, I told him put the gun down, put the gun down," said Jacob Southern, neighbor. He said the man, who he's known for about two years, became increasingly depressed and suicidal in recent days.
Jaime Bennett had just come home from the grocery store to a large and familiar police presence. "Tons of lights and I was like please don't be at my apartment -- because just last night I saw 10 cops cars sitting in my apartments when I came home."
Those cars were for the same suspect. Dyer said officers responded to reports of a possible suicidal person armed with a gun on Friday evening. But after more than three hours of trying to get him out of his apartment, officers left the scene.
"They made a decision to come back this evening for the purpose of, not only arresting him for the probation violation, but also searching for that firearm," said Dyer.
Dyer said officers used a rouse to get Pottorff outside his apartment on Saturday night, where he was met by officers, face-to-face. He then put the gun to his head, and told officers to back away as he backed up towards his apartment.
After being tased twice, Pottorff lowered the gun from his head and pointed it in the direction of the officers. "One of the officers fired his handgun three times, striking the suspect in the shoulder, suspect fell to the ground, firearm fell out of his hand," said Dyer.
Dyer said the 45 caliber handgun had its hammer back, and he says body camera video and witness statements support his belief that his officers did everything they could to offer him help and a chance to surrender. "Unfortunately, he did not take them up on that offer and instead lowered the handgun in their direction."
Police say Pottorff will make a full recovery, and will then be arrested.
This is Fresno Police's fourth officer involved shooting this month, and the seventh of the year.
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