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Man killed by police at San Francisco airport had 2 toy replica guns

  • STEPHEN LAM / THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE / AP
                                First responders respond to the International Terminal at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) after an incident involving an armed individual in front of the BART station entrance in San Francisco, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022.

    STEPHEN LAM / THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE / AP

    First responders respond to the International Terminal at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) after an incident involving an armed individual in front of the BART station entrance in San Francisco, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022.

SAN FRANCISCO >> The man fatally shot by police officers at the San Francisco International Airport was carrying two toy replica guns, an official said Friday.

San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe, who initially took over the investigation because the airport is in his county, told The San Francisco Chronicle that the man was carrying two airsoft guns without the orange tips that helps differentiate them from real guns.

San Francisco Police spokeswoman Officer Grace Gatpandan said hours after the fatal shooting Thursday that the man was armed and causing a disturbance at a train station near the San Francisco airport and that officers shot him after he ignored their orders and continued advancing toward them.

When asked to clarify what kind of weapon the man was carrying, Gatpandan said that was still under investigation and that more information would be released within 10 days.

After a reporter asked whether the weapons were replicas, Gatpandan again said it was under investigation.

Asked if an airsoft gun is considered a handgun, she said: “An airsoft handgun, I would have to look at the exact definition in the public, but it’s a gun.”

The California Department of Justice will independently review the shooting, Attorney General Rob Bonta announced Thursday.

A spokesperson for the attorney general’s office told the newspaper Friday the preliminary investigation “indicates that the decedent appeared to have been in possession of an airsoft gun, which is considered a replica gun.”

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