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Suspect wielding cleaver and frying pan killed, officer wounded, Denton police say

Multiple people called 911 shortly before 3 a.m., saying a man was banging on numerous doors at the complex and yelling for people to open them, police said.

This story has been updated throughout. 

A man wielding a meat cleaver and frying pan was shot and killed by a police officer early Tuesday, a Denton police spokesperson said. 

During the confrontation, the suspect managed to stab one officer in the shoulder. That officer is expected to recover, police said. 

Officers responded shortly before 3 a.m. after multiple people called 911 shortly saying a man was banging on numerous doors and yelling for people to open them up at the apartment complex Forum at Denton Station on Inman Street, police said. 

Residents say the complex mainly houses a number of students in the area.  

Callers also reported that he was holding a frying pan and shattering all of the light fixtures in the complex's hallways, according to the spokesperson. 

Officers encountered the man after he came out of an apartment and down the stairs toward them, holding a cleaver and frying pan in his hands, according to the spokesperson. 

The officers spent several minutes trying to speak with him, Denton police Chief Frank Dixon said during a news conference Tuesday.

As he continued to advance toward the officers, they warned they would use a Taser if he did not stop, Dixon said. Police said the man was unintelligible and continued to ignore officers' commands to drop the items. 

Officers tased the man twice, police said, but the tasing did not work. On the second attempt, the man allegedly charged toward officers, stabbing one officer in the shoulder, officials said. 

At that point, an officer shot the man. He fell to the ground. Officials said the officers administered first aid while waiting for paramedics. 

Both the man and the officer were taken to a local hospital, where the man was pronounced dead. 

"This isn't just a tragedy for law enforcement, it's also a tragedy for the young man that is no longer with us," Dixon said. "Any time that a life is taken, no matter the circumstance, is tragic. And we don't want it to happen."

The wounded officer is stable and is expected to survive, police said.   

Dixon praised the measured response of officers, saying they took multiple steps to try to deescalate the situation. 

"I want to stress to you that officers every day come to work in this profession hoping to get home, but more importantly hoping that everybody they interact with get home as well, and I think that played out in this occasion," he said.

Police had not positively identified the man as of 8 a.m. Tuesday and won't release his name until his family is notified, but Dixon said he appeared to be in his 20s. 

Police are not sure if he was living at the apartment complex, but said it didn't appear he was able to enter any of the apartments before police arrived.

Five officers initially responded to the incident, Dixon said. The identities of all the officers involved are also not yet being released. Police said the wounded officer is new to Denton's force but had more than 10 years of prior experience in law enforcement. 

The officer who shot the man has worked for Denton for more than six years, police said. That officer has been placed on administrative duty pending the result of the investigation, which is standard in these circumstances, police said.

The Texas Rangers are investigating the shooting, police said. The Denton Police Department's Internal Affairs unit is also looking into the matter, which is also standard department procedure.  

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