The Houston police department is trying to answer questions today about the fatal shooting of a double amputee, who was felled by an officer's bullets as he sat in his wheelchair, while waving a pen in a threatening manner towards law enforcement personnel.

It happened at a residential care facility where Brian Claunch was institutionalized, and according to various reports, he became upset with a caregiver upon being denied a cigarette and soda.

Claunch, who lost his right leg and right arm, was alleged to have cornered one the officers with an "unknown" weapon when shooting erupted.

The Associated Press says that the officer who fired at Claunch, who has only been on the force for five years, had also killed another person in 2009.  In that incident it was reported that a knife wielding assailant would not drop his weapon when ordered.

One has to wonder though, if excessive force was justified in this case.  Accounts of the altercation by the caregiver indicate that the distance between Claunch and the officer in harms way was only a foot or two, so unless the lights were off in the room,  why was the pen not easily identified.  Additionally, could Claunch simply have been tasered?

What do you think?