Sword-Wielding Man Storms Store

Aug 9, 2008 11
Sword-Wielding Man Storms Stockton Store
A man wielding a makeshift sword burst into a Stockton convenience store Saturday morning, and police had to go to great lengths to prevent any injuries.

Police say Thomas Neill entered a Chevron convenience store around 8 a.m., brandishing the weapon and threatening customers and employees. Nobody was immediately injured, but when police arrived, Neill seemed to want a violent confrontation.

"He was acting very erratically," said Ofc. Pete Smith of the Stockton Police Department. "Mr. Neill was actually saying to the officers that he doesn't mind if they shoot him… 'I want blood.'"

Police tried to taser Neill three times, but the device did not work. In the end, they resorted to a 37-millimeter Sage gun, a less-than-lethal device that shoots a black, plastic projectile.

"It's the same thing as being hit by a major league fastball at about 90 miles per hour," Smith said.

Neill fell to the floor, and officers, including K-9 units, swarmed him, taking him into custody without further incident.

Neill will face charges of assault with a deadly weapon. Police do not yet know if drugs played a role in the incident.