The family of a Long Beach college student fatally shot by police Sept. 11 said they called 9-1-1 for an ambulance because he was depressed and suicidal, and told officers who arrived with guns that he was autistic.
The grandmother of David Jordan, 20, whose autism she said resulted in an IQ of an 8-year-old, told Patch Monday she had called 9-1-1 in the past to have medics help get David to a hospital when depression left him wanting "to see God."
Mrs. Jordan, who declined to give her first name, said the ambulance or medics "helped us get him help at the hospital when he resisted, because he was so depressed."
That scenario is what Mrs. Jordan said she expected last week Tuesday when she answered David's text asking her to come home and help him. He'd taken the bus home from his second day at Cypress College, where he was enrolled in classes.
Mrs. Jordan's description of what resulted in David Jordan's fatal shooting by a Long Beach Police Department officer in the family's kitchen profoundly differ from the police version of events, right down to who placed the 9-1-1 call.
"I didn't call the police; I called the ambulance because he needed immediate medical help," said Mrs. Jordan. She adopted him at age 3 or 4 and said he did not learn to speak until age 9. David called her "grandmother," she said.
"I told them he had autism. I told 9-1-1, and then when I opened the door to the police, I told them," she said. "They had guns in their hands."
The Long Beach Police Department has announced that it will not respond to any additional questions nor comment further until investigations into the shooting are completed. Since the coroner's office may need forensics tests, such investigations can take months.
The police department's statement, released the following day at 5:22 p.m., said David Jordan's stepmother phoned 9-1-1 at 1:45 p.m. the day of the shooting to report "he was inside the house, armed with a knife, threatening her, and yelling that he wanted the police to kill him."
The call came in to "the department’s Communications Center," the release said. According to the release, officers approached the house and, "concerned the residents could become hostages or injured by the suspect, they attempted to evacuate the two females inside the residence. While the officers were at the front door trying to get the residents out, one of them made contact with Suspect Jordan, ordering him to put the knife down. The suspect lunged towards one of the officers with the knife, causing the officer to discharge his weapon. At the same time, the suspect threw the knife at the officer. The suspect then armed himself with a second knife, again moved towards the officer in a threatening manner, causing the officer to discharge his weapon a second time."
There was no mention in the release that David Jordan was autistic, nor that the 9-1-1 dispatcher and arriving officers were told that he was autistic as Mrs. Jordan alleges. Mrs. Jordan spoke to Patch by phone.
Mrs. Jordan's cousin, who asked not to be named, spoke to those in the house at the time of the shooting and provided Patch with details of the events they reported as well.
The cousin said David was about five feet tall. The front door of the house opens to a short hallway from which you can only turn right or left into the kitchen. The cousin said the front door is two feet from the kitchen, which is about eight feet by eight feet, including cabinetry and appliances.
"He did have a table knife, which I would guess was a steak knife, and he was seven feet away from the officer, if he didn't lunge at him," the cousin said. He said David was shot at from close range three or four times and that some bullets missed. David's great-grandmother was also in the kitchen, two family members said.
Mrs. Jordan did not want to discuss the knife. Had medics not officers responded, David would be alive, she said.
Asked how police reacted, Mrs. Jordan said: "He said, 'You asked for help,' and I said, 'I didn't ask for you guys. I asked for an ambulance. You killed him.'"
She said David worked immensely hard to graduate from Lakewood High School in five years with the help of special needs accommodations and programs. And he was proud to enroll in college. He came home early from classes because he didn't feel well the day he was shot, Mrs. Jordan said.
After the shooting, the police department said the officers immediately performed CPR to save Jordan's life but could not. No officers were injured, and the department said the shooting was being investigated by the police department, the coroner and the district attorney's office as is protocol in cop shootings. In practice, the district attorney's office typically doesn't start investigating until the police case is completed.
Patch requested the 9-1-1- tapes of the incident Friday but Long Beach police Sgt. Aaron Eaton said they would not be released while the shooting is under investigation.
Patch will continue to update this story with details of the case this afternoon so check back soon.