Mesa police on July 26, 2017, released body-camera footage, 911 audio and reports from a June 2016 police shooting that occurred during a domestic-violence call.

Mesa police on Wednesday released body-camera footage, 911 audio and reports from a June 2016 police shooting that occurred during a domestic-violence incident.

Officers shot and wounded then-53-year-old Mark Knourek as he charged toward them with a 16-inch dagger on June 8, 2016, according to police reports. The camera footage shows Knourek later telling officers he threatened them so they would kill him.

Officers instead shot him with bean bags and when that did not stop him, bullets, according to the police reports.

Knourek was shot in the left shoulder, abdomen, right bicep and left thigh, yelling at officers and exclaiming, “Why didn’t you shoot to kill, you f–kers?”

Knourek was charged with two counts of aggravated assault, one count of assault, one count of criminal damage and one count of disorderly conduct. The case continues to work its way through the court.

The incident was one of eight Mesa police shootings in 2016.

‘You can shoot me in the back if you need to’

Knourek’s son had called police to report his father was attacking his mother.

“My parents are in a huge fight,” he told the 911 operator. “They’re punching, there’s blood everywhere.”

Body-camera footage shows Mesa police Officer J. Roessler approaching the scene and speaking with the son and mother outside the home.

Roessler tells the pair to wait behind a vehicle as he talks to Knourek.

“I know I’m going to jail because she’s got blood on her face,” Knourek tells Roessler before walking back toward the front door.

“You can shoot me in the back if you need to,” the camera footage shows him telling the officer.

After Knourek re-enters the home, the officer makes a call on his cellphone. During the phone conversation, Knourek tells the officer that he has a knife and is going to stab himself in the heart, according to the police reports.

Knourek went on to tell Roessler that police would have to shoot him because he wouldn’t comply with their demands, the police reports said.

“I could tell that Mark was not in his right mind and was not clearly thinking,” Roessler wrote in the police reports.

Toward the end of the conversation, Knourek told the officer to “tell his son he loves him and he’s done,” according to the police reports.

‘In a position to stab and kill’

During the conversation, Officers R. Johnson and C. Kirkpatrick approached the house with flashlights. The light allowed Roessler to see that Knourek was walking toward him with his cellphone in his left hand and a knife in his right, police reports said.

Body-camera footage shows Roessler demanding several times that Knourek put down the knife and Knourek ignoring the commands.

The camera footage shows that Knourek then began walking toward Johnson and Kirkpatrick. In the police reports, Roessler says he saw Knourek raise his knife to chest level with the blade facing upward as he approached the officers.

Officer J. Santiago said in the police reports that he fired four shots from his shotgun with bean-bag projectiles at Knourek because he feared Knourek was going to stab himself.

The shots struck Knourek but weren’t able to force him to drop the knife or his cellphone, Santiago said.

Camera footage then shows Knourek charge toward Kirkpatrick and Johnson.

“I feared that he was attempting to place himself in a position to stab and kill both Officer Kirkpatrick and Johnson,” Santiago wrote.

Santiago attempted to fire additional rounds of bean-bag projectiles but was out of rounds, the police reports said.

The flashlight beams turned off and gunfire from Kirkpatrick and Johnson’s weapons followed, Roessler’s report said.

Knourek’s girlfriend and son can be heard screaming and crying after the gunfire on the body-camera footage.


Video shows man lighting LGBT youth center on fire

Woman pawned 90 library DVDs and now faces theft charges, records say

Police fatally shoot veteran during suicide call

Police release body-camera footage of newborn found in grocery cart

Read or Share this story: