Vigil Held For Man Fatally Shot By Police

Friends, family and co-workers turned out for a Saturday night vigil for Anthony Banta Jr.

About 200 people turned out for a Saturday night vigil for Anthony Banta, the 22-year-old man who was fatally shot early Thursday morning by Walnut Creek police.

Friends, family and co-workers participated in an hour-long candlelight memorial at the Newell Avenue facility where Banta worked as a haidresser.

Mourners also wrote personal remembrances on a large card with Banta's picture inside the salon.

Michael Falcon, co-owner of the salon, said the purpose of the vigil was to provide comfort and solace for those who knew Banta.

"It's an opportunity for the community to get a glimpse of Anthony and how much he inspired us," said Falcon.

Banta was shot to death by police officers who responded to a 9-1-1 call at 3:13 a.m. Thursday about a disturbance at an apartment on Creekside Drive in Walnut Creek.

Police administrators have said the officers were concerned for their safety when they entered the apartment, but family members have said Banta was armed with only a knife and police did not need to use lethal force.

KTJ December 31, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Jim - if you had known Anthony you would never write such an insensitive comment. We aren't talking about a dangerous thug here, but a sweet small gentle man who was probably afraid. Please consider refraining from your lounge chair wisdom when you know nothing of the event or subject. This loss is inexcusable and unacceptable; it shows that anyone can be killed apparently by police for being frightened. This is terrifying to every parent and loving person out there.
Jim December 31, 2012 at 04:46 PM
That's all great Stephen but you have absolutely no clue about what happened. You weren't there. Same goes for me. What I do know is you and the others are here watch too much TV. It's easy to assume (from your couch) that all cops are superheroes and should be able to disarm someone with a knife like it's nothing. You're not the one faced with the split second decision where the consequences mean maybe you don't get to go home to your family at night. Since these shootings happen only once every few years in Walnut Creek is it just maybe possible that the other 100 times officers faced a similar situation they WERE able to take some sort of other action like a tazer, "talking them down", "martial arts" etc and no firearm was used? Any maybe this one time the officers were in fact faced with a person, in what a witness described as a "crazed state", armed with a knife in a small space and just maybe officers felt their best option was lethal force to not get injured or killed? Or maybe to keep the two people that called 911 from being killed? Last time I checked getting stabbed was not a requirement for police officers but you may know better. Are these things possible or does your vast knowledge of the specifics of this incident and police tactics mean you still believe officers could have "easily" done something different?
melissa January 01, 2013 at 04:29 AM
One of the nicest people I have ever met. Please don't leave negative comments it hurts the feeling of the friends and family of Anthony.
Josh Goldman January 01, 2013 at 08:04 AM
Ralph Hoffmann is uneducated. You do not stop a knife with pepper spray. I strongly suggest you educate yourself on the "escalation of force". No police academy in USA would teach that you can use pepperspray to stop someone with a knife.
David Mills January 02, 2013 at 05:16 PM
Hello, folks... thanks for your thoughts. We feel everyone has had a chance to express themselves, so we are closing off comments on this story.


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