Update: Man Shot, Killed By Police Identified As 22-Year-Old

Walnut Creek police officers responded to a domestic violence call at 3:13 a.m. The incident is under investigation.

The man shot and killed by Walnut Creek police early Thursday morning has been identified by the Contra Costa County coroner's office as 22-year-old Anthony Banta Jr.

Coroner's officials would not release any other details, including how many times Banta was shot. An autopsy is scheduled for Friday.

The incident began when Walnut Creek police dispatchers received a 9-1-1 call at 3:13 a.m. Thursday from a woman who lives in the Diablo Pointe apartment complex at 1450 Creekside Drive. Dispatchers could hear screaming in the background, said Capt. Tim Schultz.

Officers responded to the scene and there were reports of shots fired at 3:19 a.m.

The male suspect was killed. No one else was injured.

At a 9:30 a.m. press conference, Schultz said the suspect was armed but wouldn't say what the weapon was.

Schultz said more than one officer fired shots, but he wouldn't say how many officers fired their weapons or how many shots were fired.

Schultz wouldn't release the identity of the suspect or what prompted officers to fire shots except to say they were concerned for their safety.

A press release said police confronted the suspect inside the apartment, but at the press conference Schultz would only say the suspect was "inside the apartment complex."

This is the first officer-involved shooting in Walnut Creek in more than five years. It's also Walnut Creek's first homicide of 2012.

The incident is being investigated by the Contra Costa District Attorney's office and the Contra Costa County Crime Lab.

The officers have been "sequestered" while the investigation continues, said Schultz. The officers have also been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

At noon, there was still yellow tape around the entire central portion of the Diablo Pointe complex. Police officers stood guard at every entrance.

G December 29, 2012 at 07:20 PM
I'm just so sorry this has happened. And i'm very sorry everyone has the need to speculate without the facts. I'm sorry for the young man that passed and i'm sorry for the police officers who have to live with this tragedy every day for the rest of their lives. Last year when a very close family friend died in a motorcycle accident (he used to call me mom) he was not on drugs, he was not a criminal it was nearly midnight and he was just driving his motorcycle too fast but his character was under attack and the people on this forum were so cruel. Ignorant people and mean people are so miserable they feel the need to cause pain in an effort to make those around them miserable. Stay strong and know that it doesn't matter what strangers think, it only matters what the people he loved and the people who loved him feel. They can't hurt you unless you let them. Don't let them. There are many of us out here sending your family prayers and support.
G December 29, 2012 at 07:25 PM
Kevin: Thank you for your insight into law enforcement and protocol. It is very helpful and hopefully tempers some of the nonsense in this forum.
Chris J Kapsalis December 29, 2012 at 07:52 PM
Knives are extreamly leathal at close range and esp in a confined area. Almost impossible to disarm a person with a knife if they are holding it right , know how to use it, and more of a threat than a gun even at very close range imo. I would hate to be to grafic in what a knife can do, but much more than cut or stab. Guns are almost useless at close range, like 5 feet or less. I am not assumming anythign about this case, only saying what I know about knives.
colleen gutierrez December 29, 2012 at 07:52 PM
I know that its too early to know anything yet, but if anyone finds out about a funeral or memorial for Anthony, please let me know! I met him & his brother Ashton in high school and I'm very saddened by his family's loss. I really wish I got to know them better but didn't really get the chance to. I want to offer his family my condolences. Thank you! My email is Colleen_marie10@yahoo.com
Chris J Kapsalis December 29, 2012 at 07:58 PM
I should have said guns are almost useless at very close range in a combat situation, or for defense.
J December 29, 2012 at 08:18 PM
I agree with M. I know his mother very well, and it is a very very sad time. My heart hurts for this family. They are amazing, good people. Please respect them.
Josh Goldman December 29, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Stop speculating. Go to the Peace Officer Standards and Training website called POST.GOV or POST.CA.GOV
Kevin Keeler December 29, 2012 at 09:47 PM
Sadbuttrue, that’s speculative. However, if you insist, let’s go with that. If what you say is true, that cuts the other way too. Six minutes of reasoning when dealing with a presumably armed person? We are really talking about fractions of a second potentially, not minutes. You also forget that if the call was placed at 3:13 the officers were not on scene yet. They don’t miraculously appear once the dispatcher received the call. They would have had to drive there. Let’s assume a three minute response time (more or less an average.) Maybe it was less or more. We don’t know. That cuts the time down to 3 minutes. Next, they would have to locate and approach the scene on foot. Now, we may be dealing with even less time. Perhaps that was all the time they had. Perhaps events unfolded very quickly. Think about it. We don’t know yet. Let’s wait until more details are released.
Pikgitar December 30, 2012 at 05:59 AM
What? Are you joking? "They have no allegiance with any law enforcement agency." YES THEY DO. For you to say that is nothing more than lying.
Pikgitar December 30, 2012 at 06:31 AM
You're so full of yourself. Although some of what you say has some truth, you have destroyed your credibility when you stated that prosecutors,including the DA dopn't have "allegiance with any law enforcement agency." I have been studying police for 3 decades. Have you ever heard of Donald Van Blaricom? I learned much from that man, including how PDs initiate their cover-ups. This case is classic. Too bad, too, because I would have thought that Joel would have acted the way he did when he helped clean up San Diego's PD. But then I could be wrong about Joel, but after all he has decided to retire in a matter of months. But, all that said, there is this thing called the blue wall. Tell us all what you think about the "Blue Wall" and how it really works, Kevin.
Pikgitar December 30, 2012 at 06:34 AM
And you are speaking for all cops when you say that? You seem relatively bias to me. No, actually you seem totally biased.
Pikgitar December 30, 2012 at 06:51 AM
If nothing else the cops committed reckless endangerment. What guaranties that a bullet from the volley of projectiles wouldn't go through a wall or two and hit some innocent party in another unit?
Desiree C December 30, 2012 at 12:49 PM
I am in complete shock about this whole situation, the way Anthony was portriad in the media makes him look like a criminal which he was not, he was a High School friend of mine and he will be deeply missed. I don't understand how mulitple cops decided to end a young aspiring mans life. Everytime I read the article.. I am baffled. I can only imagine how his family feels, I hope you guys are getting through it okay. I pray that you guys get some sort of justice for this hanus action. As Colleen stated, I would also like to know when a memorial service will be held.
Pikgitar December 31, 2012 at 12:56 AM
If you have a choice between the knife and the gun at 20 feet in a showdown which would you choose? By the way, I think that it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to throw a knife through the walls of an apartment and hit an innocent in another apartment.
Deborah B December 31, 2012 at 01:38 AM
Anthony was one of the kindest, gentlest human beings I had the pleasure of knowing. I cannot wrap my head on how the police could have thought there lives were in danger. Anthony is not a violent person. He is small in stature and a huge heart. May you rest in Peace, Anthony, and my thoughts and prayers go to his family. There will need to be an investigation and with the evidence thus far, it looks as though the police were not only quick to fire, paranoid and suspect.
Love December 31, 2012 at 07:39 AM
As a member of Anthony's family, i can say that he put the "gentle" in "gentleman". He is a bright light and we all miss him terribly. His mother and twin brother are devastated as the three of them were inseparable until the boys became men.This whole situation is very tragic and while the full details are still being revealed we are left scratching our heads as to why it had to come to this.
Sonya Tafoya December 31, 2012 at 10:19 AM
Mr. Keeler,First of all the use , or should I say "abuse", of the engilsh language, is that a tactic you use to try and weed out the seemingly ignorant human beings?Secondly, why you would see my name & it's correct spelling in plain veiw... Taking a step further to mispell it? Odd. As if to place my thoughts in a catergory UNDER ones as profound as your own.Third, I have knowledge, FIRST HAND experience, and stupidity is not on my resume.I was in a gang for many years of my life.. Luckily I made a complete turn around, & use my past as a stepping stone towords the future I have now.Your statements, are they based on your first hand knowledge of the events, or ones that are similar? My statements were those of a confused sad contributing citizen of the United States of America. Realizing more & more that laws bend for those that uphold them. So your "legal experience", doesn't mean jack to me. I support those who need support. This family needs it. Their loved one, right or wrong in his actions was killed.How hostile the situation REALLY was, none of us will ever know. It is however OBVIOUS that there was ONE young man, CLEARLY outnumbered by several lethaly ARMED officers. Common sense tells me it did not take more than 3 shots to kill a 120 pound man. (Fact lawmen/women, have excellent aim). Mr. Keeler I noticed you appear to be on the defense of EVERY statement given here.... Ironic , or are you bored in life?
Josh Goldman December 31, 2012 at 03:47 PM
So why did he wake up trying to choke the life out of his roommate? Why did he have a knife in his hand? Why did he defy the police and didnt listen to them when they drew a gun on him and ordered him to drop the deadly weapon? Size of the suspect does not matter if he has a sharp blade on someone's juggler artery.
Kevin Keeler December 31, 2012 at 11:08 PM
Sonya, I sincerely apologize for mis-spelling your name. It was not intentional. I wish I could catch all my typos. My mistake. My concerns and reasons for writing have nothing to do with “abuse” or as you put it “weed out,” etc. I never intended to imply “stupid” was on your resume. My thoughts and intentions lean toward informing those who may not know, or don’t know, about use of force and other related police matters in a GENERAL sense. Once we have the theoretical understood, we can apply it to the specific. Your comments were just some that I felt were similar to others; they were thus ripe for commentary. Many comments I read seem angry, ill informed, and laced with speculation. You must agree that many assume automatically the police did something wrong here. This concerns me. I have the same right to speak up as you or anyone. Nevertheless, I do not, and have never implied, the police were justified in this case. THEY MAY NOT BE. Or, they may be. We will have to wait until all the facts emerge.
Kevin Keeler December 31, 2012 at 11:09 PM
Sonya, I never said I had firsthand knowledge of this incident. Please provide a statement from my posts that confirms this. I’m certain I qualified my comments when offering speculation or example. The rest was theoretical and practical knowledge gained from years of training and experience. My comments were directed in response to other comments in the sense they were written, which were often broad sweeping generalizations (like yours.) As such, I addressed them in a way to demonstrate their fallacious nature in a logical sense. Albeit, they were very common reactions, yours just happen to demonstrate this. It was not personal. I applaud the fact that you turned your life around from being a gang member. God Bless You. However, as a former gang member, you should be able to articulate the reaction gap principle when we speak of any use of force. Perhaps not in those terms, but I would think someone with your experience would know how one could get over on someone through speed and surprise when one has the initiative.
Kevin Keeler December 31, 2012 at 11:09 PM
Sonya, I also support your motivation in your concern for those who are suffering. My concerns are those too. However, I also have concerns that we, as a society, do not suffer under unrealistic expectations or Hollywood-like understanding of the real world. Perhaps, it was this motivation that makes me “seem” defensive. If it is, then I see it as a positive thing. This does not arise from boredom. It arises from a love and concern for my community, my nation, and my brothers and sisters. As a fellow citizen of these United States, I fully support your right to speak up when confused and sad. I’m saddened too. Many, me included, have and are willing to defend that right even at the risk of one’s own life.
Kevin Keeler December 31, 2012 at 11:09 PM
Lastly Sonja, let’s not forget that common sense is not so common in this post modern era. I understand your need to understand how terrible things happen. Really I do. Unfortunately, horrible things do happen all the time and we don’t always understand why. Sometimes, they are easy to understand, sometimes not. Sometimes, the “someone” to blame is obvious, sometimes it is not. In time we may come to understand what happened to this poor boy. Peace.
Kevin Keeler January 01, 2013 at 02:49 AM
Pikgitar, I was not joking nor was I lying when I said LE has no allegiance with the DA’s office. But, perhaps my word usage could have been better. To say that LE and the DA have overlapping areas of interest would be true. However, they also have many areas of exclusivity to their own place in society. I don’t watch very much TV programing but I do occasionally catch some shows. If you were to watch the show “Law and Order,” that can spell out some of the differences. The DA has and will prosecute police officers when it’s deemed they have violated the law. They will in this case too if a crime has occurred. I know the CoCo DA’s office well. And, believe me they will.
Kevin Keeler January 01, 2013 at 02:50 AM
Pikgitar, I would agree there have been many cases down through the history of man where people in authority have abused their power. This is true in LE, the DA’s office, the Teamsters union, the GSA, Port of Oakland, and the list goes on and on. However, a particular abuse of power does not necessarily define an organization, group, or occupation in its particular endeavor. Such a conclusion, a sweeping generalization, is a fallacy that has no place in civil discourse. The good news is we have ways of dealing with most of these problems through the law and an open society. Grant it, we will never be able to fully rid ourselves of problems like this. But, we can right our attitudes, stay informed, seek, fight and uphold truth, and keep our passions in check. This at least gives us a chance to live in the best possible of societies.
Kevin Keeler January 01, 2013 at 02:50 AM
Pikgitar, you are right. I am bias, as are you. NO PERSON will ever be able to escape their life experiences, education, and influences in the way they shape our world view. However, through reason and intellectual honesty (dare I include faith) a person can rise above their own biases to a level where civil discourse can be conducted. We need more logos and ethos, and less pathos in this arena. As for me, I have attempted to elucidate readers on what I perceived as some faulty reasoning made evident through some posts. I would agree that my comments can be seen as favoring the police. However, I never commented on this particular case in a judgmental fashion as you and others have. I never said these officers were justified. I don’t have all the facts. I responded to comments that were made containing speculation, sweeping generalizations, and incomplete knowledge about use of force and police action in general. If it’s deemed these officers committed some crime, or if their agency determines they violated policy, I will stand with those who would demand appropriate action. But, nothing of that sort has been said or determined to my knowledge.
Kevin Keeler January 01, 2013 at 02:51 AM
Pikgitar, let’s talk about the Blue Wall as you have put it. Name any profession that does not have a tendency to stick together out of loyalty to one and other based on their commonality, situation, and interests. Do Doctors? Do Teamsters? Do Firefighters? Need I go on? All human beings do this. Still, in any group or endeavor there remains ethical standards, sometimes codified from within, sometimes regulated by law from without. As for my personal experience in with this, I can tell you I have never seen it in the way you have characterized the term here. I have seen officers who displayed honesty and integrity when dealing with malfeasance and/or criminal acts. Does it go on in all walks of life including LE? I’m sure it does. But, again, to paint a broad picture of every instance of malfeasance and attach it to an entire group is fallacious. If this were true a person would never go to a doctor for illness because some doctors were sued and stripped of their licenses for malpractice. It makes no sense.
Kevin Keeler January 01, 2013 at 02:51 AM
Pikgitar, to your comments about rounds possibly going through a wall and hitting an innocent person, you are correct. That is a risk. It would be a violation of the fourth rule of firearm safety: “Be sure of your target and what is beyond.” But, that does mean a person should not defend themselves because of some risk. In the dynamics of any situation requiring force, there are many risks. Properly trained individuals are trained to assess and evaluate those risks and make the best decision possible given their unique situation. Then, they must apply their individual skills in way that minimizes that risk and solves the problem. In some professions this must be done in a fraction of a second. But, that does not mean there will never be risk. The perfection you seek will never exist.
CNET Activist January 01, 2013 at 08:25 PM
Everybody: I've attempted to post numerous relevant comments but the Editors are suppressing everyone of my postings. I've been researching Police Shootings for over 25 years and know a great deal about several Walnut Creek shootings. This one is still a judgement call - I am not allowed post speculation or my theories. If this gets deleted than it's more of the same.
MYRNA lARSEN January 01, 2013 at 10:50 PM
Could the cops have just walked away? Was anyone being held hostage?
David Mills (Editor) January 02, 2013 at 05:21 PM
Hello, folks... thanks for your thoughts. We feel everyone has had a chance to express themselves, so we are closing off comments on this story.


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