msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 7/5/2011 3:07:43 AM ET 2011-07-05T07:07:43

A man reportedly armed with a knife on a Bay Area Rapid Transit station platform was shot and killed by police, transit officials said Monday.

Dispatchers received a call of a "wobbly drunk" with an open bottle of alcohol on the platform of the Civic Center/UN Plaza station in San Francisco around 9:30 p.m. Sunday, according to transit officials.

Two transit officers arrived and then reported shooting a man in the torso. He died about an hour later at the hospital, officials said.

One BART officer suffered cuts and bruises on his arm. Both officers have been placed on administrative leave.

BART Police Chief Kenton Rainey said that he was "comfortable" with how officers handled the confrontation "from what I know at this point."

Harry Stern, an attorney representing the officers, told the San Francisco Chronicle that the man who was shot had hurled a bottle of alcohol at the officers before approaching them with a knife.

"This is a completely justified use of force in response to an attack," Stern added.

BART spokesman Linton Johnson told the San Francisco Examiner that a knife was recovered at the scene.

Image problem
The transit agency has been battling an image problem after a white officer fatally shot an unarmed black passenger on New Year's Day 2009 at a station in Oakland, a killing that sparked widespread debate and prompted racial unrest in that city.

Johannes Mehserle quit the police force shortly after the shooting and was later charged with murder for shooting Oscar Grant in the back while Grant was pinned face down on Oakland's Fruitvale station.

Mehserle was convicted of involuntary manslaughter after testifying he meant to use his Taser rather than his gun. He was recently released from prison after serving half of a two-year sentence .

Story: Mom of unarmed man shot dead by BART officer in Oakland gets $1.3 million

Neither the victim nor the officers involved in the latest shooting were identified, though BART officials said the dead man was white. One officer is white, and the other is Asian.

The Associated Press and msnbc.com staff contributed to this report.

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