MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Two eerily similar situations ended very differently for two men threatening police with a weapon.
Wednesday night, a Memphis police officer chose lethal force in an exchange with suspect Alexio Allen. Thursday night, an officer chose non-lethal force in a similar situation.
Allen's family said he was having a mental episode. He got his hands on a weapon and MPD shot him.
Thursday night's situation unfolded differently.
Police said a woman called 911 and said her grandson pushed her and told her he wanted to kill her. She said he had an unspecified mental condition and was drinking at the time.
When police arrived, they said the man was locked inside his room, yelling that he would kill officers if they came in. He then came out of the room and into the hall. Police said he had several self-inflicted wounds and was holding a large rifle. He then threatened officers.
The man barricaded himself in the bedroom again, and officers spoke with him. He then stepped halfway out of the room, and an officer shot him with an SL-6, otherwise known as a gun that shoots rubber bullets.
The non-lethal shot subdued the suspect and police took him into custody.
"I'd rather them use the rubber bullets versus the real bullets," one Memphian said.
Memphis Police Department said every situation is different. The department said the situation dictates the level of force needed to make the arrest.
"Lethal force is the last resort," Memphis Police Association President Mike Williams said. "It's all situation dependent. You can't just put it in a box and say we're going to shoot all mental consumers with bean bags. Well what if a mental consumer is rushing at you with a knife even. Then you have the ability to defend yourself."