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San Diego police fatally shoot knife-wielding suspect in attempted robbery.

August 3, 2009 |  7:36 pm

San Diego police shot and killed a knife-wielding man Monday afternoon moments after he tried to rob a downtown restaurant, officials said.

The shooting occurred in the street near the Horton Plaza shopping center. Initial reports say three officers sought to persuade the man to drop the knife, but he refused.

The identity of the man was not released.

UPDATE: Police said they responded to a call at 4:23 p.m. about a man who had stolen a knife from an outdoor table at a Gaslamp District restaurant and then brandished the knife at another restaurant demanding money.

Three minutes later, the man was located on a street corner near the two restaurants. An officer ordered him to stop. Instead, according to police, he took a knife from his backpack and then refused commands to drop it.

The man then "advanced on the officer in a menacing manner while screaming obscenities with the knife raised," according to Lt. William Stetson, of the police department's homicide unit.

The officer fired and the suspect was later pronounced dead at the scene. The officer is described only as a seven-year veteran of the department, currently assigned to the gang unit.

-- Tony Perry reporting from San Diego