The community is mourning the loss of Kyle Hart, 33, a middle-school teacher who leaves behind his 32-year-old wife, 2-year-old son and newborn daughter, according to the gofundme.com account. The fundraiser was launched by loved ones and had amassed over $2,000 in donations as of Tuesday afternoon, with a goal of $25,000.
About 8:50 a.m. Monday, police responded to the family’s home in the 400 block of Lincoln Avenue after receiving a call that Hart was trying to cut his throat and wrists. When officers arrived, they encountered a woman in the front yard covered in blood, according to the Redwood City Police Department.
She directed officers to the back yard, and two initial arriving officers encountered Hart in the side yard armed with a butcher knife, police said. The officers, both trained in Crisis Intervention Techniques, attempted to get Hart to drop the knife, but he refused and began running at the officers, police said. After a failed attempt to deploy a TASER by one of the officers, the other officer, a 20-year veteran, used his firearm to shoot Hart in order to keep him from advancing, police said.
The San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office is investigating the shooting, per protocol in officer-involved shootings.
Hart’s death has caused deep sadness in the community and the Palo Alto school district where he worked. For the past three years, he taught English and Social Studies at Greene Middle School and had previously worked at J.L. Stanford Middle School, both part of the Palo Alto Unified School District.
Counselors were being made available to students who knew Hart.
In the GoFundMe, Hart was described as an “incredible father, husband, son, brother, teacher, and friend.” He had the “biggest heart and smile” and was passionate about teaching and looked after his students.
“Although the Hart family would never ask for help, they are some of the most loving and generous people, so we are asking others to consider donating to support the family in the short- and long-term,” according to the fundraiser. “With two little ones at home, their family has many daily, monthly, and yearly expenses that quickly add up, and we want to make sure the Hart family can focus on their health and happiness rather than expenses for the foreseeable future.”