Man Shot to Death by Police at My Apartment Complex in Walnut Creek, CA

Published On January 1, 2013 | By CopBlock | Articles

This happened a couple days ago. A man described as gentle and quiet was shot to death following a 911 call at 3 AM. They still won’t say what weapon he was brandishing or how many cops were involved. A couple different reporters tried to get my side of the story, but I honestly heard nothing and knew nothing. According to our apartment manager, a lot of people are saying they didn’t even hear gunshots fired so it’s a mystery what exactly happened. The general consensus is that he didn’t need to be shot to death.

According to the WaluntCreek Patch:

Anthony Banta Jr. Source: WalnutCreek Patch

What happened?

That is the basic question being asked by the family of Anthony Banta Jr.

The 22-year-old was shot to death early Thursday morning by Walnut Creek police officers who responded to a 9-1-1 call about a loud disturbance at the Creekside Drive apartment where Banta lived.

Family members are distraught and perplexed.

What, they ask, caused Banta to wake up screaming in the middle of the night and attack his roommate?

Why, they ask, did police use lethal force when Banta was armed with only a knife?

“We are devastated. Our hearts have been ripped out,” said Brett Grainger, Banta’s grandfather.

The officers involved have been placed on administrative leave while the incident is investigated by the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s office.

The coroner’s office completed an autopsy Friday, but a spokesman said  findings won’t be released for several weeks.

Grainger, whose daughter is Banta’s mother, said Banta had cooked dinner for his roommate and the roommate’s girlfriend on Wednesday evening.

Nothing seemed unusual, Grainger said, until Banta woke up screaming in the middle of the night. Grainger said Banta didn’t know who he was and started choking his roommate when the roommate tried to calm him down.

Grainger said the roommate’s girlfriend called 9-1-1. Police say they received that call about 3:15 a.m. and could hear someone yelling in the background.

Officers arrived minutes later. Grainger said Banta picked up a knife when police came into the apartment. The officers yelled for him to put down the weapon. When Banta didn’t, Grainger said they shot him.

“Did they have to use lethal force?” asked Grainger. “Could they have used a taser or thrown a table or chair against the wall and subdued him? No one in the world deserves to die like this.”

Read entire article here.

I am disgusted at yet another example of excessive police force and general bullying of the public instead of being the said protectors they claim to be.

Editor’s Note:
The person who submitted this post asked to remain anonymous because they live in the same apartment complex. If you have a police encounter you’d like to share with CopBlock.org readers simply click here. Sadly, stories of police officers using deadly force before attempting any other sort of assistance is all too common here at CopBlock.org. IMO (Ademo), this is due to the heavy double standard that exists in policing today. The cop(s) who shot Anthony are now on paid leave, under investigation by fellow cops and simply have to say they were scared for their lives to be free of this crime. Had Anthony’s roommate, the one who was being choked, shot Anthony – in self defense – the police would have, at a bare minimum, detained him for questioning at the police station. Most likely, though, had Anthony been shot by his roommate, the police would have charged him with some degree of murder/manslaughter and let the justice system figure the rest out. That is not the case when the killers are police and that’s why policing should be privatized. 

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  • underoath

    I absolutely can not believe you guys post stuff like this! The guy was armed with a knife and he refused to comply. Are we seriously questioning why he was shot? This is the type of story that makes this site laughable.

  • Buford T. Justice

    Thank you Cop Block for your consistently poor and questionable “journalism.” I love the quote from the guy’s family asking why those awful cops chose to shoot a guy who was only holding a knife?

    Why, oh why, didn’t those terrible cops just walk in to the room, take that guy into their arms, and give him a nice big hug? After all, he was no threat with “just a knife.”

    Everybody knows Jack the Ripper was no threat to anyone, and all he had was a knife…

  • t.

    So, let’s gets this straight author guy….

    YOU have absolutely no idea what (by your own add mission)
    NONE of you neighbors have any idea what happened (by your own statement)
    BUT, the general consensus is that it should have happened???? Based on what information?

    Oh…

    Maybe its based on the rest of the story….

    Screaming in the middle of the night and attacking his roommate while armed (and most likely using during said attack.) with a KNIFE !!!

    WHY would the police use deadly force, on someone armed with a knife….WHO WAS ATTACKING SOMEONE !!!!!

    Did you really just write and post such nonsense?

  • Common Sense

    Another Cracker Jack article…

  • 1605

    I could disarm and/or negotiate with a man with a knife without shooting him.

    Why can’t the police?

    Another example of “just give me a reason” killing.

  • VooDoo6

    He had a knife, the cop doesn’t know the guy! Does he have any type of training? They don’t know. The cop has to assume that the worst can happen. Very unfortunate that guy lost his life! Cops should focus more on life saving measurements than life taking actions, but when the bullet flies there is no taking it back. It is completely possible to pull the trigger and save a life at the same time, therefore law enforcement agencies should focus their training more on this instead of just shooting “center mass” like they do!

    1605, you have no idea what your up against when you step into a knife fight! Will he charge? Will he throw it? Will he grab the roommate, this time using the knife? You don’t know, you have to stop the threat while keeping yourself and the other victims safe! Yes I said “STOP” the threat and did not say “ELIMINATE”.

  • 1605

    You’re an apologist. Stop it.

  • Shazbot Almighty

    Goodness. There go un-common and t once again sucking the lye out of their master’s boots.

  • BluEyeDevil

    Agree with the cop enablers in this forum, story has a lot of holes in it. I suspect more will come out later. I mean this kid was a dumb fuck for holding a knife up to a bunch of cops who will murder you. He should have just went for the “ride”, fuck it. He would have been out within 24 hours for a domestic. I just have to ask one question though, WHAT IS THE POINT FOR YOU FUCKING COPS TO BE ISSUED LESS THAN LETHAL COMPLIANCE WEAPONS IF YOUR JUST GOING TO SHOOT EVERYONE ANYWAY? Can anyone answer that for me, Common? T? Under? BTJ?
    Again like I always say……Cops are cowards, have no honor and murder people. That is the difference between government agents and soldiers……..

  • BluEyeDevil

    LOL, “SHOOT EVERYONE ANYWAY”, LOL why fucking call the cops unless your in a car accident………

    ..!.(‘_’).!..

  • t.

    Should have “shot him in the leg?”. Is that it @Devil? YOU, nor I, nor the chump who wrote this tripe has any idea about what happened. Taser vs knife? Ah, no. Dead force vs deadly force.

  • BluEyeDevil

    @T.,
    Who said anything about shooting him in the “leg”, forgot you don’t read to well. Hell, I would’ve shot his ass in the fuckin face, coming at me with a knife. I simply asked a question, which once again you failed to answer.
    When do you use the tazer? I know when, Mr. Intelligence, they are for torturing someone. Now I sound like a hypocrit, right, because the military uses torture for information kind of like you the only difference is we use them for enemy combatants…. you use them on the people you say your protecting, LOL. Tazers were supposed to be used in a situation as a substitute for deadly force, am I correct? I know I am! So my question of why do you need them when your going to shoot them anyway, still stands unanswered!
    Now, I was actually in agreement with you fuckers, don’t know what happened……Yet! But as usual because you cop failed to use your less than lethal weapons that you “NEEDED” it will cost the city a black eye, some sorely missed revenue, and the respect you think you deserve. You dumb mother fuckers do it to yourselves. A coward takes lives, a MAN knows how to save lives. You cops are pathetic.

  • BluEyeDevil

    Oh ya, big mouth, you like calling names again in my other posts. Well you can kiss my grunt style, combat boot wearing, eating in hole, protecting my country ASS. Mother fucker you will never be the man, huh, hero………LOL. Fucking joke.

  • Pete Malloy

    @Blue, you are absolutely incorrect. Taser international training guidelines state the taser is under no circumstances designed to replace deadly force weapons. The taser is designed to serve as a deterrent to resistance, and should that fail it will greatly diminish a suspects ability to fight. Police departments do not market the taser as a replacement for deadly force weapons. The taser is an exceptional service that has been used on thousands of police officers all across the globe during certifications without injury or death.

  • Aaron

    If the kid woke up in the middle of the night, screaming, and didn’t know his roommate, I’d say he was in the throes of some sleep disorder and couldn’t be expected to “comply.” He doesn’t even know his roommate, at this point, so how the fuck is he going to make a conscious decision to comply? And, yes, it happens – even when not drunk or under the influence of drugs. My brother-in-law worked crazy hours, and was once found in his kitchen making imaginary donuts – his job at the time. Somnambulism is common.

  • http://www.policemisconduct.net Glenn

    This story really has the resident snitches filling their diapers. Lets have more stories like this.

    Hey, anyone know the maximum effective range of a knife?

  • BluEyeDevil

    @PeteMalloy,
    No I am not wrong, do some research, cop! “Tasers were introduced as non-lethal weapons to be used by police to subdue fleeing, belligerent, or potentially dangerous people, who would have otherwise been subjected to more lethal weapons such as a firearm. A 2009 Police Executive Research Forum study said that officer injuries drop by 76% when a Taser is used. However, while Taser CEO Rick Smith has stated that police surveys show that the device has saved 75,000 lives, there has been some controversy where Taser was implicated in instances of serious injury or death” and that is wikipedia mother fucker. But let me expand further; “Our industry leading Electronic Control Devices (ECDs) are used worldwide by law enforcement, military, correctional, professional security, and personal protection markets. TASER ECDs use proprietary technology to incapacitate dangerous, combative, or high-risk subjects who pose a risk to law enforcement/correctional officers, innocent citizens, or themselves in a manner that is generally recognized as a safer alternative to other uses of force such as firearms. TASER technology protects life, and the use of TASER devices dramatically reduces injury rates for law enforcement officers and suspects” that quote, my friend, is Tazer internationals mission statement. Can also look up some case law and a number of police department statements for reasons why they “HAD TO HAVE” fucking tazers. But honestly the two quotes I gave you should be enough for you to go and put fucking head in the sand asshole. The one thing that both these sources say is that the tazer is an alternative to shooting someone.
    Once again, another fucking overpaid leach, GED, goon trying to flex his intellectual muscles. Bro why don’t go eat a donut and quit trying to change the hearts and minds of people who got your dumb ass figured out. Military intelligence has taught me a lot of things and dealing with civilian law enforcement is one of those things. Making you retards look stupid is easier than picking up chick at the bar.

  • Ed D

    I carry a firearm for self-defense; I am not a police officer. If I were confronted by a person armed with a knife and that person made threatening gestures toward me I would shoot that person.

    Knives are deadly weapons and can easily be used to kill. I don’t know the totality of the circumstance at the scene or why the cops didn’t use pepper spray or a taser to subdue or disarm the young man, but If the guy with the knife refused to drop it and was in close enough proximity to use it on the officers, and was threatening, I would not fault the officers for shooting the young man.

    We’ll have to wait for the full details to come out about what happened.

  • Pete Malloy

    I love it when people use improper grammar and poor spelling to promote their own intellectual superiority. Couple that with using a wikipedia reference and four year old quotes on a topic the writer is clearly uninformed about and you have a truly unique response. Insecurity is a pain, but you’ll eventually grow out of it. Tasers can be used in situations where an escalation to deadly force is preventable, or when appropriate cover can be utilized, but it isn’t a blanket solution to every situation. Ademo can load the language anyway he like, but threatening someone with a knife will almost always be met with a deadly force level response. The responsibility is not on the government for this individuals poor decision making skills, it is on the individual who voluntarily chose to threaten another human life.

  • t.

    Devil: OK

    Taser’s are great…so is pepper spray, batons, bean bag shotgun rounds, etc…

    But when presented with deadly force….
    Search taser videos on line. Lots of people still function…certainly long enough to still stab (if at close enough range or pull a trigger if they have one. Most officers carry taser cartridges that are good up to 21′. But where did this take place? Inside an apartment….in the dark….after he had already attacked someone….and you think less lethal is the way to go?? Now under a different post you said everything thing is math and physicis…. what does that add up to too you?

    Too expand a little for the sake of hoping people won’t get hurt…
    In a “standoff” type of situation, when there is time to deploy less lethal. Its only deployed with lethal cover (for the reasons listed above). And it therefore shouldn’t be tried without that lethal cover. The “bad guys” choice(s) are theirs to own. If they decide to kill, attempt to kill, attack, threaten, etc….someone with a deadly or dangerous weapon, that is their choice. And while the idea that is put forward around this site that officer just love shooting people is ridiculous beyond belief…we also can’t allow that to happen if we can intercede.

    You (all) need to see. This story for what it is. The author admits that he knows nothing about what happened but he just doesn’t like it. What he does provide is that that this guy “attacked” his roommate and was at some point when the police arrive is armed with a knife.
    Do that math.

  • His neighbor

    In another one of Anthony’s neighbors, only a couple units down. I was a awake at the time dealing with my sick child. I heard 12 shots, in sets of 6. So I definitely heard the shots regardless if what she (the manager heard from others). I called the cops right after and they said they were already there which seemed strange: that’s when I figured out the cops were the ones shooting, not a random civilian confrontation. The police won’t say how many shots were fired or even that some went through a wall into a neighbors home. When an officer was shot in September down the way and another officer killed the suspect, we knew what happened by the end of the day. Why aren’t they coming out with the details? Note, I make no judgements here on lethal force etc. I just want to know what happened to my sweet neighbor.

  • t.

    Not trying to sound smart…but it sounds like your sweet neighbor attacked his roommate with a knife

  • PSOSGT

    To all the copblockers on here…. if someone is coming at you with a knife…I hope you grab a chair to defend yourself instead of a gun. He choked his roomate, then grabbed a knife. Sounds like some bath salts or something in play here, based on the limited info.

    And all them less than lethal stuff is good….just not the best choice in the small livingroom of an apartment.

  • Calling bull crap

    I knew the victim. What I don’t know is the facts. The general consensus however is that he had a knife and was hostile. I still find it hard to believe that lethal force was necessary. Police are supposed to be trained to disarm situations and people. I would find it difficult to believe that the cops that shot him where anywhere near as small as him. 5’4 144 lbs and that if they really tried that the couldn’t have backed out of the apportionment and made a better decision. They are supposed to be able to think on their feet and use lethal force as total last option. Im not saying that they didn’t but until the results of the “investigation” come out, I m leaning towards gross misconduct. Maybe he was on drugs like some of you have suggested, maybe on Bath salts ,but I seriously doubt it. He wasn’t a big partier and even if he was experimenting, I seriously doubt that he would embark on such an endeavor the night before a 12 hour shift. Furthermore the fact that WC PD has refuses to publicly announce what kind of weapon Anthony was brandishing -and even if it were a knife what kind of knife– is suspect. If it were a chef’s knife one might be able to convince me of a scenario where lethal force may be warranted but I still have my reservations. As it stands now everything is just conjecture until the police, crime lab and DA release all the info in a transparent manner. Right now all we have is another victim of gun violence and a solid blue wall.

  • His neighbor

    @t. Well note that the police haven’t clarified anything, no details, nothing. Neither have his roommates. Which makes if feel like they are struggling to come up with a plausible reason for amount of force used. It’s been a week, kind of strange if you ask me…

    In addition, if Anthony was busy strangling his roommate, why was he downstairs with a knife confronting police. His roommate, poor man, seemed to be in decent condition for someone who was getting strangled by a talented wrestler. If the roommate says he was strangled then I believe him. But all that we’ve heard is random details from his grandfathers… which as many here have said is heresay. So the question remains, what are the police hiding?

  • t.

    The poll e aren’t “hiding” anything. As I have said here many times, OIS’s are investigated very thoroughly. The result of which are always reviewed by the DA and in most jurisdiction automatically forwarded to the grand jury for oversite / review.

    Departments that release investigation information premature do themselves no favors (IMO). Even the most crystal clear uses of deadly force result in civil suits against the officers, department and city. Airing the investigation in public can only predudice or tarnish any potential jury.

    An incident like this is even far more complicated than one in say a traffic stop or street encounter that goes bad. This also must encompass the assault on the roommate. Now many OIS involve other crimes, so this one isn’t unique. But it is more involved. As you both (@neighbor and @crap) say, this behavior is / would be out of the ordinary for him. Toxicology result may play a very big part of what happened. As you point out, any drug use would be unusual for him. If there are any drugs in his system….not only what are they, but how did they get there (if as you say he doesn’t use any).

    There may also be the idea that the officer(s) did something wrong. If that is the case, there would be the need to make sure the evidence / case was built against them, right?

    If you want a clue as how things are progressing, look at how long the involved officers are “suspended”. 72 hours is very standard and meaningless. Any time longer than that may be an indicator that the preliminary investigation is showing that the officer may have done something wrong.

    But look at the story as posted, and quite honestly at your own comments. He was a nice, quiet guy. OK. That attacked his roommate. And then the police. The first part of that certainly doesn’t fit with the second part. Either you didn’t know him that well or so etching change in him.

    But the police not discussing an on gong investigation isn’t not only…not wrong, its proper.

  • Stubby McGee

    WOW! The asshats are out in Force arn’t they??

    What I don’t understand is how the cops always say to wait, wait, wait… then after it has left the minds of most people they reveal a few minor facts but never the ‘Whole Story’ and in the majority of the cases, where the cowards hide behind thier badgess, they never get charged as they should.

    It just irritates me that the police are repeatedly set against the populace as a gang of Thugs and even when going into thier most deadly situation (Domestic Disturbance) they don’t bring thier bean bag guns, tazers, mace, Etc but never fail to draw thier guns, kill someone, and cost the citizens a ton of money!

    As for Spelling and such, Who cares ya speeling Nahzi jackass, not All of us are paid to sit online and defend the incompetent idiots that populate all the police forces today!

  • thinkfreeer

    I’m sorry, no. Everyone knows cops have guns, right? Everyone knows that when someone calls 911, cops (more than one) are going to show up and investigate, right? And they bring their guns. You have to be one of the following to confront a cop with a knife in this situation:
    1. Stupid
    2. Suicidal
    3. So angry that you just don’t care (see 2. or 4.)
    4. Crazy
    Any cop that would choose a tazer or pepper spray in this situation is one of the following:
    1. Stupid
    2. Suicidal
    3. So angry that you just don’t care (see 2. or 4.)
    4. Crazy

  • T

    Well I am a relative if the victim you guy are talking about and I have seen the body and walked through the apartment and spoke to the roommates and spoke to the chief of police and they changed their story from what they told us. They shot him in the back. So all you guys that think you are smart guys. Just shut and you guys will see that the cops over reacted and should not have used deadly force

  • T

    Thinkfreeer shut up you an idiot

  • G

    It blows me away how many people on here think they are investigators. Nobody will have the true story until the reports come out in about 60 days. But the police department had the officers return to work 10 days after killing a man. That seems like the department is making yet another mistake.

  • thinkfreeer

    When you have nothing intelligent to say, attack someone else. Yeah, that’ll work.

  • Carly

    To all of you sick, sad people leaving comments saying he deserved it… Absolutely NO ONE deserves to have their life taken from them like this. Not even pathetic, gullible people like yourselves.
    The media is a very powerful, persuasive weapon. I’ve seen the lies first-hand. My brother passed away at a much to young 18 months and instead of allowing my parents to grieve, there were articles printed about what heartless murderers they were. I would never wish this tragedy upon someone, but maybe when something so devastating and downright horrible happens to you, you will finally get it through your thick skull.
    I am proud and so thankful for the small voice sites such as this give to Anthony. I’m no conspiracy theorist, but what happened that night was a misuse of power. The Walnut Creek police department proved that a single 5 and a half foot man was no match for a swarm of cops. Without a gun they could have proven the same thing and wouldn’t have suffered the negative, questionable feedback.
    I only met Anthony once. He was a friend of a friends, and he cut my hair for my brothers wedding. We maybe had a total of 30-45 minutes of interaction, but in that time he left such an impression. He was an old soul… a genuine, caring person who had such a big heart. It makes me so disappointed in our society to see people accuse him of being stupid, suicidal, or crazy. We will NEVER know what happened that night because thanks to our city police, we will always be missing a side of the story, and a piece of our hearts. I hope and pray that one day, the truth will come out.

    Until then, I know in my heart… and so do the men who pulled the trigger that night.

  • matthew james macarthur

    AKA, the real deal holyfield! state your name soldier, I mean coward. thats what happens when you hire pussies as cops. I hope his family gets every bit of that 15 mil

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