UPDATE: According to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Police crime log, the call came in for a “suspicious person.”
UPDATE #2: The official Sonoma County Sheriff’s Police press release can be viewed at the bottom of this article.
Scary place, that golden state. Not just because of officer “Smith,” the unnecessarily aggressive cop. Also, because other police out there shot and killed a 13 year old kid yesterday. Reports of the shooting are popping up all over the place:
CALIFORNIA SHERIFF’S DEPUTIES SHOOT, KILL 13-YEAR-OLD
(AP) Calif. Sheriff’s deputies shoot, kill 13-year-old
SANTA ROSA, Calif.
Northern California sheriff’s officials and family members say deputies shot and killed a 13-year-old boy who was carrying a replica assault weapon.
Two Sonoma County deputies saw the boy walking with the replica weapon around 3 p.m. Tuesday in Santa Rosa. Lt. Dennis O’Leary says they repeatedly ordered him to drop what appeared to be a rifle before firing several rounds.
The boy fell to the ground. Deputies handcuffed him and began administering first aid, but he was pronounced dead at the scene. O’Leary says deputies also found a plastic handgun in his waistband.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Hey Matt, you’re jumping the gun on this one. The kid was carrying replica weapons. What were the police supposed to do?”
I hear what you’re saying. I’m still concerned, though. Even if that kid had real guns, I’m curious to know exactly what he was doing. Did he point one at somebody? Did he make a move as though he might use one of these guns?
It sure doesn’t say that. From the way the article makes it out, he was shot for not putting the gun down. I’d hate to think the kid was just standing there, not putting the gun down, and he was shot for that. Killing people out of impatience has become a sort of pet peeve of mine.
The closest you will find of any details on the incident are in today’s story from “The Press Democrat“:
Davis said he likely pulled up moments after the shots were fired because he could see someone lying on the ground, several yards in front of the patrol car.
In his video, Davis can be heard saying, “Police standoff … gunpoint. He said, ‘Don’t reach for the rifle.’”
Moments later, Davis says, “I don’t want to be here, actually. I need to get out of here. I’m in the line of fire.”
As Davis quickly crosses Moorland to get away from the scene, the video shows two sheriff’s deputies taking cover near their patrol car. In front of the patrol car, a body lies partially on the sidewalk and in a field of dry grass.
The shooting took place just as neighborhood residents were on their way home from work and school. Others were home when they heard gunfire.
“First I heard a single siren and within seconds I heard seven shots go off, sounded like a nail gun, is what I thought it was,” said Brian Zastrow, a resident on Horizon Way. “After that I heard multiple sirens.”
The police are typically forthcoming when they’ve chosen to use deadly force because somebody had pointed a gun at them (or somebody else). Curiously, that hasn’t happened here. I anxiously await the use of passive-voice and flowery language in the police press release.
UPDATE #2: The press release has been obtained and is printed, word-for-word, as follows (note the use of the phrase “and at some point immediately thereafter”):
Officer Involved Shooting Incident
This afternoon at 3:00PM, two Sonoma County Deputies were patrolling in the area of Mooreland Ave. and West Robles Ave., Santa Rosa. At that time they observed a male subject walking with what appeared to be some type of a rifle. They immediately called for an emergency response from other deputies and officers that were in the area. The two deputies repeatedly ordered the subject to drop the rifle and at some point immediately thereafter, the deputies fired several rounds from their handguns at the subject striking him several times. The subject fell to the ground and landed on top of the rifle he was carrying.
After several commands ordering the subject to move away from the rifle deputies approached and placed him in handcuffs. At this point the subject was unresponsive. After securing the rifle the deputies began administering first aid and requested emergency medical aid from fire and ambulance. The subject was pronounced deceased at the scene by the responding paramedics.
The subject of the shooting is an unidentified male who may have lived in the area where this incident occurred. Once the scene was secured deputies learned that the rifle was a replica of an assault weapon. When the deputies searched the subject they also found a plastic hand gun in his waistband. Attached to this press release is a photo of the replica assault weapon the subject was carrying..
Pursuant to the Sonoma County Chiefs of Police Employee Involved Fatal Incident Protocol, this case is being investigated by the Santa Rosa Police Department, the Petaluma Police Department, and the District Attorney’s Office.
The Sonoma County Deputies who were involved in this incident have been placed on administrative leave, which is routine for such events.
Any media inquiries for this incident should be directed to the Santa Rosa Police Department per the Critical Incident Protocol.
Press Release prepared by Lt. Dennis O’Leary
Sonoma County Case Number 12-1022-17