The officer-involved shooting June 19 at Evergreen Motel and RV Park outside Quincy left one man dead and his wife homeless. Janet Cass, 50, identified the shooting victim as her husband, Dennis Jason William Majewski, 36.
In the course of an hour, Cass lost her husband, her home and virtually all of her belongings. She is temporarily staying at the Gold Pan Lodge.
“I need help,” Cass said Friday, June 22, “with little things. And for donations and stuff to get him cremated.”
Later, when she has money, Cass wants to scatter his ashes 1,000 feet high. “That’s what he wanted. He’d gone sky diving years ago,” said Cass.
Donations for Cass may be left at the front desk of the Gold Pan Lodge, at 200 Crescent St. in Quincy, with manager Janice Haman.
Victim’s state of mind
Jeannette Gumm, Majewski’s mother, blames Majewski’s doctor for his state of mind. “The doctor cold-turkeyed him off of morphine.”
Gumm said her son had recently had leg surgery, and was weaning himself off morphine. She said Majewski’s doctor was planning on retiring at the end of the summer.
She has lots of questions about what happened. She was told her son “took a blowtorch to his home,” but she doesn’t believe that could be possible.
Gumm thinks the sheriff’s deputy who shot Majewski could have used a Taser, or shot him in the leg. She said they knew he had a bad leg. “They even had a cop on the force who could talk him down.”
Majewski’s next-door neighbor, Marvin Van Pelt, was not home when the incident started at the trailer park. He had taken his significant other, Cynthia, for gall bladder surgery.
As Van Pelt and his long-term partner were leaving, Majewski said, “Good luck with your surgery, Cynthia, I’ll keep an eye on your place.”
A day or two earlier, Van Pelt drove Majewski to town.
“I’d taken Jason into town. He said to me, ‘My doctor has dropped me. I can’t get my prescription filled. I may need to go into rehab. I can’t afford $22,000 for rehab.’”
Van Pelt believes Majewski was primarily distraught because his doctor had dropped him.
Daniel Funke, Majewski’s neighbor on the Blackhawk Road side, said Majewski told him he was “never going back behind bars again.”
Funke, whose life was threatened by Majewski the day of the shooting incident, said Majewski was “not in any kind of close-to-normal mind.”
“Considering the comments he’d (Majewski) made previously, I don’t think he gave the officer any other option.”
Funke said he knew the deputy responsible for the shooting, and he believed that “the officer is professional.”
Stuart McCormick, another resident of the park, was held in protective custody in a patrol car after Majewski came after him, threatening to kill him.
“It was a very frightening and scary day,” McCormick said.
“The sheriffs got there in the nick of time. The deputy did everything humanly possible to prevent Jason from being shot.”
McCormick received a phone call from Majewski threatening his life earlier that day. As he consulted with a neighbor about what he should do, they heard Majewski “going on a rampage” inside his trailer.
As McCormick sat in the back of the patrol vehicle, he heard Majewski yell at the deputy, “You’ll either have to kill me or I’ll kill you.”
“I’m so grateful for the professionalism of the Plumas County Sheriff’s Department,” McCormick said.
“My prayers and everything go out to that guy (the deputy sheriff who shot Majewski). Thank God he saved my life. He’s a hero.”
The sheriff’s office, California Highway Patrol, CalFire and the Department of Justice have all contributed to the investigation.
The Butte County Sheriff’s Office is conducting the internal investigation, which is standard procedure any time a law enforcement officer is involved in a shooting.
Plumas County District Attorney David Hollister said he would release the names of the officer and the decedent at the same time: when the issues surrounding the decedent’s body and estate have been resolved.
The DA’s office is also the public administrator in cases like this one, when living relatives are indigent. Until the legal and financial obligations have been met, the DA cannot release sensitive information.
Investigations are ongoing. Hollister praised all the agencies supporting the investigation. “I am eternally thankful,” he said. He hopes to have the case resolved by mid- or late July.
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