An off-duty California Department of Corrections officer shot a knife-wielding man at Costco in northwest Modesto on Thursday afternoon.
The incident occurred at the Pelandale Avenue warehouse store just before 5 p.m.
According to Costco employee Seth Watson, the man was in the clothing area, jabbing a knife near people. He didn’t say anything and didn’t threaten anyone.
Watson said the man headed to the checkout stand area, where the officer confronted him. The officer told the man several times to drop the knife, but the man did not comply. They made their way outside, where the officer shot the man.
Modesto police Sgt. Chris Adams identified the person shot only as a 61-year-old man. He was listed in critical but stable condition, Adams said.
About 300 people were inside Costco at the time of the incident. Roughly 100 people were kept inside the store after the incident so police could interview them.
Watson said there was a vendor in the store selling knives at the time but it wasn’t clear if that’s where the man got the knife. He described the knife the man had as a kitchen knife, and held his hands about 10 inches apart to show the size of the blade.
He said the man with the knife appeared to be under the influence
“I am just glad we had someone with a gun there,” Watson said. “I didn't even know it was an armed officer until it was all said and done but I'm glad he was there, I'm glad he was there. Without that we would have had to hit him with chairs or something.
“Nobody but the perpetrator was hurt, it couldn't have ended any better."