The man shot dead by police at San Francisco International Airport was carrying two replica pistols, an official said on Friday.
San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe, who initially took over the investigation because the airport is in his county, told the San Francisco Chronicle the man was carrying two airsoft guns without the orange tips that distinguish them from real pistols.
San Francisco police spokeswoman Grace Gatpandan said hours after the fatal shooting Thursday that the man was armed and causing a disturbance at a train station near San Francisco airport and that officers had shot down after ignoring their orders and continuing to advance towards them.
When asked to clarify what type of weapon the man was carrying, Gatpandan said the investigation was still ongoing and further information would be released within 10 days.
After a reporter asked if the weapons were replicas, Gatpandan again said an investigation was underway.
When asked if an airsoft gun was considered a handgun, she replied, “An airsoft handgun, I would have to look at the exact definition in the public, but it’s a handgun. fire.”
The California Department of Justice will independently review the shooting, Attorney General Rob Bonta announced Thursday.
A spokesperson for the attorney general’s office told the newspaper on Friday that the preliminary investigation “indicates that the deceased appeared to have been in possession of an airsoft gun, which is considered a replica gun.”