WCPD: Banta Charged Police with a 10-Inch Chef’s Knife Before Being Killed

January 7, 2013 17:29 pm · 134 comments

Walnut Creek Police on Monday afternoon announced they shot & killed 22-year-old Anthony Banta after he charged at them with a 10-inch Chef’s knife.

Banta, of Walnut Creek, died after being shot by police at 3:15am on December 27th, just a few minutes after the Walnut Creek Police Department received a 911 call via transfer from the Contra Costa County Fire Department. Screaming could be heard in the background during that call. Officers were immediately sent to 1450 Creekside Drive and arrived within minutes.

Officers confronted Banta inside an apartment at the complex and were forced to shoot him, according to police.

Banta was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The Walnut Creek Police Department is still waiting to receive toxicology reports, which will tell if Banta was drunk or on drugs at the time of the incident.

101 anon in Concord January 8, 2013 at 4:22 PM

@ post 35………

You are right on the money!!!!!

102 Pigs January 8, 2013 at 4:26 PM

It’s funny how you people defending the cops say he “charged” them….this is info released by the ones who killed him…they could have said anything and u dumbasses would listen. You’re pathetic and being manipulated by the police department. For all you know the cops had knew him and wanted him dead so before u make assumptions that police are always right look up the name Ernest Duenez Jr. Shot to death by an officer in front of his own home he was unarmed and his wife witnessed it all and everything was caught on the officers dash cam. Cops always have been and always will be crooked. They do more harm than good its funny how we never hear the reports of cops preventing shootings or stopping crimes..we hear the cops committing just as horrible crimes as the criminals do.

103 Cowellian January 8, 2013 at 4:54 PM

Another career criminal heard from.

104 Leni January 8, 2013 at 5:11 PM

Why are they not releasing the nature of the argument between the roommate(s) and Banta? The roommate and female were locked in the bedroom and called 911. When the police arrived they had to bust in the front door and that is when they saw him at the top of the staircase with the knife.

105 Parsnip January 8, 2013 at 5:41 PM

@Pigs #102 — Back to your pen, dude. It’s almost time for lights out.

106 @ Tooobad January 8, 2013 at 5:44 PM

The police have lots of options when dealing with non-threatening people but by all accounts this is not how the incident unfolded. The police were not dealing with a non-threatening person. They were dealing with someone brandishing a knife who came towards them. The police do not lose their right to self-defense because of their occupation nor do they have to retreat before defending themselves. They are not deemed the aggressor when they use force to effect an arrest, to overcome resistance or to prevent escape. 835(a) PC. A police officer may only use deadly force to protect themselves, or others from that they reasonably believes would be the imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury. I think a reasonable person would conclude that a 10″ knife is easily capable of causing death or serious bodily injury. I think a reasonable person would conclude that a man brandishing a 10″ knife, coming at them, especially armed police officers who are readily capable of defending themselves, would constitute a reasonable belief the man intended to cause them imminent death or great bodily injury.

107 Elwood January 8, 2013 at 6:17 PM

@ straight and narrow #74

” I wonder how Richmond PD, Oakland PD, or SF PD would have dealt with the situation.”

Same result. Dead perp.

108 ChampagneKitty January 8, 2013 at 6:38 PM

to Leni #104–because the case is still under investigation.

109 Anon January 8, 2013 at 6:39 PM

I really wish people would people would stop saying the whole “shoot them in the leg” bs. This isn’t tv. There are major arteries all over your body. Put a hollow point bullet through them and guess what you will bleed to death.

Not before you can plunge a knife into a cop but you still die.

#92 “Vested” please tell me you are not stupid enough to think that bullet proof vests will stop blades. I will hope you meant “experienced.” That being said why the hell should a cop risk death to go into hand to hand combat with a guy armed with a knife? Have you ever been in a fight before? People like you who stand back and expect the police to act like super heroes really need to get off their asses and take a martial arts class. You will find that despite how easy it looks on tv fighting people in real life isn’t a lot of fun.

The only person that I have a lower opinion of is the scumbag lawyer who is already thinking of how to cash in.

110 J. January 8, 2013 at 7:27 PM
111 Bellow the waist January 8, 2013 at 9:15 PM

Why couldn’t the officer shoot him below the waist or even in the torso? A non-fatal shot would’ve demobilized him and he would have survived. None the less, he would’ve gone to jail for a very long time I’m sure with a bad injury, but at least he would’ve survived. A kill shot was not necessary. I can understand, ok, he’s coming at me with a big knife, a taser may not be effective to stop him, but he did not need to shoot and kill him, the shot could’ve been non-fatal very easily. Heck, its harder to shoot someone in a spot that will kill them than one that they’ll survive. This situation could’ve been easily avoided and this officer should definetaly be discharged from the force and not allowed to own a gun for the rest of his life. FTP! out.

112 Walnut Creek Resident January 8, 2013 at 10:32 PM

Yes number 111. Life is not anything to people anymore. You can tell when you are driving among these savages.. People just do not care who dies anymore. Why would you want to kill this poor guy… they could have wounded him by shooting him in the legs or lower torso.. I am sorry for the
officer who killed him… He is going to live with that.

113 old concord January 9, 2013 at 1:14 AM

It still come down to the officer’s training. This is how they are trained and there for justifide in there shootings. We wanted our police to have all the tools to fight crime and gave them great freedoms and wepons. The training is old and flawed. We now have almost total control of people by the police.

114 Travis Bickle January 9, 2013 at 7:26 AM


Don’t think too long on it. People like you, WCR, Straight and Narrow don’t have the sack to do the job anyway. Just go on wringing your hands and pissing your pants.

115 Travis Bickle January 9, 2013 at 7:41 AM

How about all of you critics of police officers ask yourself this question. If the officers had responded to a domestic dispute involving you and a disturbed individual, and as the officers arrived that individual was charging you with a ten inch knife, would you want the officers to stop the threat, or should they shoot to wound, thereby giving your attacker the opportunity to get to you with the knife?

116 Steve January 9, 2013 at 8:25 AM

Wow – the self-proclaimed “experts” are showing their faces…….

@Bellow the Waist #111 – Officers are taught/trained to shoot to STOP the threat. How is that done? By shots to center mass until the threat is stopped. Since adrenaline is pumping during a deadly force encounter, attempting to shoot at other than center mass will result in misses. Using force other than deadly force (taser, OC, pepperball, less-than-lethal/rubber ball, etc…) will not necessarily work if the BG is on some type of drugs. But in a deadly force encounter, you DO NOT HAVE TIME TO MAKE THOSE KINDS OF DECISIONS! How do you KNOW a gut shot would have “demobilized” him if he was on PCP or similar drug? You state” its harder to shoot someone in a spot that will kill them than one that they’ll survive” – WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! What evidence do you have to support your assertion? That’s why they train officers to shoot cewnter mass – to STOP THE THREAT!

@Walnut Creek Resident #112 – Yes, the officer(s) will have to live with that. But see the paragraph above to #111.

@Old Concord #113 – The training is not “old and flawed”. That’s why they are now equipped with tasers, pepperball, OC, less-than-lethal, etc… But it all comes down to the threat at hand and what tools you have at your IMMEDIATE disposal and being able to make a split-second decision without having the luxury of time like you Monday-morning quarterbacks.

@Seriously #32 – beanbags are NOT used in a pistol, only shotguns.

@Ricardoh #76 – In a deadly force situation, officers are taught to stop the threat by shooting at center mass. You’ve been watching too much TV in expecting them to shoot the leg.

@Somebody else #92 – Batons? Against a knife? Then stating that the Irish cops in NY defended themselves against knives (presumably w/o firearms)? Lessee – did we have the same drugs at the turn of the century? Did we have the same lack of respect for authority back then? Why don’t we look at ALL of the differences between that time and now? Then stating that two “vested” patrol officers should have been able to take this guy? Patrol body armor (is, “bullet-proof” vests) do NOT protect an individual against edged weapons. Body armor to protect against knives is MUCH heavier/stiffer. You, sir, obviously have no LE training. My credentials are 25+ years in law enforcement.

@Straight and Narrow #99 – There’s a little bit of difference between 10 years as an attorney (sitting behind a desk, in a law library or a courtroom) and dealing with an unknown situation/BG potentially no drugs. You have SECONDS to react – not hours or days. You do NOT have the luxury to make decisions before having all of the FACTS at hand.

@Pigs #102 – I’m not even gonna dignify your idiocy with a response.

To all of the Monday-morning quarterbacks and self-styled experts… I have a couple of suggestions…..

1. Sign up for one of the Citizen police academies. It’ll give you an idea of what the officers face.

2. Sign up/take the ENTIRE police academy – all 600+ hours along with 400+ hours FTO time, along with taking annual advanced officer/in-service training. It’ll give you a better idea of what the officers face.

3. STOP watching TV and basing your “knowledge” on the old Westerns of shooting the prep in the hand or leg.

4. Hire on with a LE agency as a jailer; or hire on with CDC as a prison guard. Maybe you’ll gain an appreciation as to who they deal with, and you won’t be singing about sunshine and rainbows when you’re on the “tip of the spear.”

5. Get your PhD/MD in psychology/psychiatry and go to work for the CDC at San Quentin, Pelican Bay, Vacaville, Atascadero or other prisons/mental facilities….. See what it’s like to deal with those who are “mentally ill.”

Yes – there needs to be more awareness about mental illness. But officers facing a deadly threat RIGHT NOW do NOT have the luxury of being able to “diagnose” an individual, late at night, charging at them with a knife, yelling, etc… I’d like to see how EACH of you would respond to the threat once you had deigned to truly educate yourselves….. and not just respond with the feel-good/touchy-feely attitudes so prevalent in society.

Education – try it……

117 Mars January 9, 2013 at 9:16 AM

“Shoot him in the foot” lol! You people are rediculous

@itsaninsidejob – some times that is not an option. Banta was going to kill an officer with a knife. Trying to tackle him or any other non-lethal force just isn’t in option in those 2 or 3 seconds you have until he sinks that knife into your stomach.

The wcpd have a good track record don’t ya think? All these years with only 3 or 4 officer involved shootings, all the other instances they were able to tase an use other options. They have guns for a reason, if there was ALWAYS a non-lethal option they’d just carry mace and tasers. Some times using your gun is just the reality of the job and the reality of staying alive when a psychotic individual is attempting to murder you.

118 Parsnip January 9, 2013 at 10:56 AM

@Walnut Creek Resident #112 — “they could have wounded him by shooting him in the legs or lower torso.”

That’s why to everyone’s good fortune muffin heads like you never become cops. People don’t fire back with wounded “legs” or their “lower torso.”

119 Don't Censor Me Bro January 9, 2013 at 12:29 PM

@ Steve #116 — Kudos/Good post!

120 Don't Censor Me Bro January 9, 2013 at 12:48 PM

@S&N #99 — You don’t note if you are a criminal law attorney — at any rate,

It is just as plausible that the PD has sufficient training, or we can “Assume?”

Know what I mean?

AGAIN: You do not disagree that the bottom line is when it comes to split second desicion making, in life and death situations, police find themselves in a very unique position, or do yout?.

121 RickC January 9, 2013 at 4:31 PM

I don’t believe this man had to die. Why do multiple officers have to take multiple shots when one shot might have sufficed? Where was he shot (top of stairs, half way down, bottom of stairs)? How many stairs were there? Why aren’t the witnesses talking? Why does it take two weeks to get the story from WCPD? We want all of the facts. I say put a Go Pro video recorder on every public officer.

122 Big Al January 9, 2013 at 6:55 PM

Stop resisting,Stop resisting,open up boys,empty your police issued mags full of hollow point jackeded rounds.One shot,no problem.Police sickness.

123 @RickC January 9, 2013 at 7:23 PM

You’re right. The officers should have to call it (I got this one, Joe!) and then if they miss three shots, the next officer can try, and so on. Gotta give the knife-wielding violent perps a sporting chance, right?

124 Dennis January 9, 2013 at 8:01 PM

Who cares? Why are you so concerned for the “rights” of the suspect, but willing to discard the “rights” of the persons who have to subdue him? Do you think that police should be issued feather dusters instead of handguns, to give the violent criminals a “sporting chance” or a “fair fight”? What about our rights, as citizens and members of society (including police) to protect ourselves from the violent ones who attack us? Do you really believe that person’s right to life trumps the right to life of everyone else present?

OIC … you’ve never been in that situtation. If you had, you wouldn’t be alive to whine at us.

125 Anon January 9, 2013 at 9:00 PM

Leftist want to get wasted and behave as insane as possible and as soon as it stops being fun for the little sadists they want to call out “I’m done” and have an officer drive them home.

Thank goodness for natural selection.

126 Steve January 9, 2013 at 9:17 PM

@RickC #121 – you “sir”, need to read my previous post #116. I will NOT re-explain ANYTHING to some idiot who can’t read what’s already been posted…..

The only way YOU’LL get all of the facts is if you’re doing the investigation. So go siddown and blow some sunshine, unicorns and rainbows outta your azzz.

127 RickC January 10, 2013 at 6:17 PM

Wow it seems I have pulled some heart strings. I have GOOD experience with combat sports and know full well what one shot will usually do. Circumstances would be different if he had a gun instead of a knife. I won’t mence words when I say this man was murdered. Here is the way WCPD does it…Keep shooting, keep shooting

128 @ RickC January 10, 2013 at 7:12 PM

Playing Halo on Xbox does not make you an expert and combat is not a sport. By your very words I can tell you have never been in a firefight since in combat you shoot until the threat is down and then you assess. No one who has ever been in a firefight shoots one round, and waits to see if it worked. That is now you get dead.

You are a poser and a bad one at that.

129 Anon January 10, 2013 at 7:15 PM

Sweet Jesus he means paintball.

And it’s “mince words,” finish school then comment.

130 RickC January 11, 2013 at 8:51 AM

OK, it is obvious that there are law enforcement officers here who are not man enough to even use their first name and who prefer to hide behind a Anonymous moniker to defend the actions of their jackboot brothers who murder in the name of public safety. If the facts show that shooting Banta multiple times by multiple officers was justified I will stand down, but it looks a little too fishy and the public should question whether this death was justifiable and why it takes two weeks to issue a police statement.

131 @ RickC January 11, 2013 at 10:08 AM

I will try to explain this to you as simply as possible. In Contra Costa County they have a Officer Involved death or great bodily injury Protocol which every police agency and the District Attorney agrees to follow. When the protocol is initiated, one senior Deputy District Attorney and a group of District Attorney Investigators respond. 1 Inspector is teamed up with 1 detective from the venue agency. If the venue agency is small the DA will call in detectives from other agencies to help out the venue agency. The DA’s Office becomes the lead investigative unit and conducts a criminal investigation to see if the officer(s) violated the law. The venue detectives conducts a criminal investigation into the original call for service that led to the death or serious injury. A third Internal Affairs investigation is usually conducted either simultaneously but usually later to determine if the officers actions violated department policies. While interviews are being conducted crime scene investigators are photographing, collecting evidence, sketching the scene, conducting ballistic tests, working out trajectory etc. The Coroner is conducting an autopsy and toxicology tests. Even in a contained crime scene like a single family house it can take a week(s) to coordinate interviews of the involved and neighbors (each side, front and back and several across the street) now multiply that by an high density apartment complex and you can see how long it might take to interview everyone who might have information. Once you’re done interviewing people think about writing your reports, getting each one approved and times that by the number of number of investigators and the separate investigations. Not to mention crime and killing didn’t stop in the county simply because there was an officer involved homicide in Walnut Creek. New cases come up that have to be worked while they are fresh and they still have previous case that are just as important as this one to a loved one. Once the investigations are completed, in which each completed independent investigation can easily fill several 5 inch binders they have to be reviewed in total by a Deputy District Attorney.

As part of the protocol the Coroner’s office will hold an inquest to determine the circumstance of this death. It is open to the public and those involved will give sworn testimony. A regular jury of 12 will after hearing testimony and asking questions as needed will determine the mode of death. The inquests are held in the Martinez City Council chambers.

All these things are done to assure the public the involved officers acted within the law.

This is not TV where a crime is solved in one episode. You can either have a thorough investigation or a fast investigation but you cannot have both. .

132 Robert January 11, 2013 at 10:58 AM

The average soldier in Afghanistan
or Iraq make way lees than a local
Police officer to put their lives on the
Line. I feel that if it was a serious
Enough situation they should not
Be allowed to their pistol until they
are fired on. A little guy like that
Even with a knife could have been
drawn out side the apartment, witch
I believe they say he was coming down a
stair case, and position themselves
to take him down with less than lethal
force.with good training it’s not that hard.
The comparison with the Military was
to point out that these brave Soldiers
know they could be Killed or at least
injured in the line of duty, and a police
officer should know the same.
In San Jose a Police Officer shot
and killed a barely five foot tall
Woman when she seemed to
come at him and later her deadly
Weapon was a vegetable peeler.
Perhaps our police force should
train more in hand to hand combat
and how take a person down that
way. I think the sleaves of their uniform
shirt should have Kevlar pads to lessen
the damage a knife may cause.
They usually wear BP vests right.
It just seems to me they forget that
Their First job is to protect the Citizens
of the Community, even when a
Citizen may be out of control . Every
Police Officer should know that
his contact with these Citizens is
mostly a crisis situation.
The only thing that I can think of
that’s perfect every time is a
math equation. But I am aware that
these types of thing will still occur.
But perhaps a Lawyer could come up
with a way to indemnify a City against
the results of an Officer to quick to
Shoot first. If a Police Officer knew
He and he alone were responsible
I believe he would be a little more
cautious in His response to a heated
situation. Of course these City’s
And Police Training would meet
Strict training guide lines in order to
be indemnified. But it would be less
Costly in terms money and Human
Life. I don’t want to live with a para
Military presence any more than
Any of us, But the Federal Govt.
Has gotten close to taking over in
Oakland. I don’t know witch is the
More frightening , letting the killings
go on in Oakland or a Federal Mercenary
“Police” force camped at the air port.
If you don’t want Humvees with
30cal or worse patrolling the streets
in our worst cities, than let’s make the
Tough decisions now and take care
Of the whiners later.
And let’s also un teach the concept among
our youth that “snitches get stitches”
That is a bullying technique that goes
back forever,”better not tell or I’ll
beat you up!” It is critical to change
this idea, we are talking about life
and death here, not getting caught
smoking in the bathroom at school.
But until we tackle these issues ,
as I have described we will continue
to read these incredible Headlines.
These Officers are technically
our Employees, so lets give them the
Terms of their Employment, the tools
and more intense training they need
and force their Union to accept
These Employment requirements,
and get to work. If this is to tuff
for them than perhaps some of these
officers should look for another I

133 @ Robert January 11, 2013 at 12:19 PM

Seriously, were you dropped on your head as a baby or are you just totally stoned right now?

134 Anon January 11, 2013 at 5:01 PM


lets make officers personally responsible for their actions not the city.

Here’s how that plays out, officers sit outside and wait for Banta to murder his roommate than wait for him to come outside the next morning once the bath salts have worn off. Then Liberal tools cry piss and moan about why didn’t they try and do something sooner.

I’m sorry you were bullied in school.

Ps How’s banjo practice?

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