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DSA In the News

Police shoot and kill man

Published on 8/18/2010

Burlingame police shot and killed Edgar Jonathan Aristondo, 20, Monday night in front of his Myrtle Road home after he allegedly charged at two officers with a knife, according to police.

Two officers responded to 217 Myrtle Road just south of Washington Park at about 8:40 p.m. after Aristondo’s mother called the police seeking help for her son, who she described as being depressed.

“My son was depressed for a long time. He needed to take his medication. He had mental problems,” Gladys Aristondo said.

She disputes the fact her son was carrying a knife, as police have claimed and that she did not see either of the two officers deploy a Taser before her son was shot dead, as police have claimed.

“I called the police to have him taken to the hospital,” she said. “He tried to run, he never had a knife.”

Aristondo said she first called a social worker to see if she could get her son some medical help but was advised to call the police so he could be put on an involuntary psychiatric hold, or 5150.

The mother claims to have clearly informed police dispatch that her son was depressed after calling 911 Monday night and then informed the two officers who arrived to her home that her son was special and needed help.

“Why did I call the police? I should have never have called. I called for hope. I didn’t want the police to kill my son. It is my fault,” Aristondo said.

Burlingame police Capt. Mike Matteucci confirmed that the mother did warn dispatch Monday night about her son’s depression before the two officers arrived at the scene.

“We have responded to the home a number of times for similar disturbances but he was never arrested,” Matteucci said.

Aristondo was holding a large serrated steak knife, Matteucci said.

The Aristondos live in a small cottage behind the main house at 217 Myrtle Road. Edgar Aristondo allegedly came out of his cottage and approached his mother, a family friend and two police officers through a narrow corridor on the side of the main house as they discussed the situation on the sidewalk.

Police approached Aristondo in the corridor, and then shot him moments later, the mother said.

A neighbor said she heard three or four shots fired although Matteucci could not confirm that.

Aristondo had a knife, according to police, and advanced on the officers.

The officers attempted to detain or arrest Aristondo but due to his actions they were forced to defend themselves, according to police. One officer fired his Taser but Aristondo continued to advance, according to police.

“An officer attempted to deploy the Taser but it didn’t strike,” Matteucci said.

Aristondo was then struck by gunfire and the officers immediately began to render aid, according to police.

Gladys Aristondo tried to see her son after he was shot but was kept back by police, she said.

“They wouldn’t even let me see him,” she said.

Edgar Aristondo graduated from Peninsula High School in 2008 and had lived at the Myrtle Road home for 15 years. He was an avid video game player who also liked dogs.

“He had a nice heart. He never took anything from anybody,” his mother said.

Police blocked off Myrtle Road between Howard and Burlingame avenues and were on the scene until 3 a.m., neighbors said.

Celestino Luque, Edgar Aristondo’s uncle, described his nephew as humble and quiet.

“He was a little peculiar,” Luque said. “The police were warned he had some mental issues. He shouldn’t be dead.”

The family was making funeral arrangements for Edgar Aristondo yesterday.

“I never in my life will forget this. What they did,” his mother said.

An autopsy is scheduled for today at 1 p.m., according to San Mateo County Coroner Robert Foucrault.

The San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office is investigating the shooting along with Burlingame police. The involved officers have been placed on paid administrative leave while the investigation is under way.

The last homicide in Burlingame was Sept. 30, 2007, a shooting on Highway 101 just north of the Broadway exit. The last officer-involved shooting in Burlingame was Nov. 3, 2002 at the Red Rood Inn on Airport Boulevard.