A police officer in Long Island, New York, fatally shot a man who charged at authorities with two swords. The shooting occurred in Elwood on Tuesday night and the police commissioner, Rodney Harrison, stated that it appeared to be justified. The man, identified as 54-year-old Alan Weber, was pronounced dead at a hospital.
The incident began when police responded to a 911 call reporting a man acting violently inside a home. Weber was reportedly screaming and breaking items upon the officers’ arrival and refused to come outside. According to the police statement, Weber confronted the officers with the swords while wearing a fencing mask. Despite commands to drop the weapons and an attempt to subdue him with a stun gun, Weber charged at the officers. In response, one officer fired several shots, resulting in Weber’s death.
Neighbors reported that they had previously called the police earlier in the day when Weber was seen running around the neighborhood, attempting to open doors and take mail. However, he was not taken into custody during that incident.
Alan Weber, a Long Island native and University of Pennsylvania alum, had a successful fencing career. He narrowly missed making the U.S. men’s fencing team for the 1992 Olympics and won a silver medal in the team foil category at the Pan American Games in 1995. In recent years, Weber worked as a coach at various fencing clubs.
Jeff Salmon, co-founder and head coach at Mission Fencing Center, expressed devastation upon hearing the news of Weber’s death. Salmon had known Weber since they were boys and remembered him as a confident and creative fencer. Andy Shaw, historian for the U.S. Fencing Association, also recalled Weber’s talent and observed his growth in the sport.
Commissioner Harrison reviewed the officers’ body camera footage and stated that, based on the available evidence, he believes the shooting was justified.