Victim threatened to go on ‘murder spree’
According to a press release issued Wednesday afternoon, June 20, by Plumas County District Attorney Dave Hollister, the man shot and killed by a Plumas County sheriff’s deputy Tuesday evening had threatened to go on a “murder spree.”
Hollister said the Plumas County Sheriff’s Office dispatch center received a call at 3:53 p.m. Tuesday reporting a man “acting erratically and threatening others while armed with a knife and a brick hammer.” A deputy was dispatched three minutes later.
At 3:58 p.m., the subject of the initial call phoned dispatch, identified himself and said the sheriff’s office should send every deputy as he was going on a “murder spree.”
The dispatched deputy arrived on scene at 4 p.m. and contacted the subject. According to Hollister, the man was armed with a knife and a brick hammer. He advanced on the deputy while verbally and physically threatening him.
The deputy retreated, but the subject continued to close in on him. The deputy then fired three shots at the man, striking him in the upper torso. The man was declared dead at 4:11 p.m.
At 4:27 p.m., a trailer belonging to the man burst into flames. Responding fire crews were able to contain the blaze before it could spread.
Hollister said, “All witnesses, including nearby civilians, the involved deputy and responding officers, have been cooperative in providing information and assisting this investigation.”
He asked that any citizens who believe they have further information concerning the incident should contact his office, the Plumas County District Attorney’s Office, at 283-6303 and speak with an investigator.
The names of the deceased and deputy have not been released yet.
Sheriff says shooting victim made threatsPlumas County Sheriff Greg Hagwood said Wednesday morning that the man shot and killed by a Plumas County sheriff’s deputy yesterday evening had made a threatening phone call to the sheriff’s office that afternoon.
Hagwood said that when the deputy arrived on the scene, the suspect had multiple weapons and the deputy had to defend himself. A photo taken at the scene by Feather Publishing reporter Laura Beaton shows a knife and a hammer on the ground beside the man’s body.
“At that point in the situation, the threat level was such that a Taser was not an appropriate response,” said Hagwood. “It was a very explosive, rapidly developing situation.”
Plumas County District Attorney Dave Hollister said June 20 that if the sheriff’s office had responded just a few minutes later, “We would be investigating a murder or murders of residents of the trailer park instead of an officer-involved shooting.”
The sheriff said he would release the name of the deputy as soon as he legally could. He did say the deputy was a veteran officer from the Quincy office.
Hagwood said this is the first officer-involved shooting since he became sheriff and he is being careful to follow all of the legal procedures.
“The sheriff’s office did a good job of backing off on this investigation,” Hollister said.
The deputy has been placed on administrative leave, which is standard policy. Hagwood said the leave was in no way an indication of any wrongdoing.
Hollister is the lead investigator in the case. The Butte County Sheriff’s Office will be conducting the internal affairs investigation. The Department of Justice is processing the crime scene, and CalFire is investigating the subsequent fire that destroyed the victim’s trailer. “We don’t know how it started,” Hagwood said.
Hollister said a final report on the incident probably wouldn’t be completed until the end of July.
Reporting by Staff Writer Dan McDonald
A man is dead after being shot by a Plumas County sheriff’s deputy responding to a disturbance call at the Evergreen Motel and RV Park around 4 p.m. today, June 19.
A passerby tries to assist officers to control a fire that broke out a short time after an officer-involved shooting at the Evergreen Motel and RV Park on Highway 70 and Blackhawk Road. A neighbor who witnessed the incident said the trailer, which was destroyed, belonged to the man who was killed. Photo by Laura Beaton
About a half-hour after the shooting, the man’s trailer burst into flames. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.
Neither the victim nor the deputy has been identified.
Medics on scene attended a grieving woman, identified by bystanders as the victim’s wife, as the man’s body lay on the ground out of her sight. “I just want to see him,” she repeated.
While officials waited for Department of Justice (DOJ) personnel, flames and smoke began billowing from the dead man’s home. Fire engines, which had been called to the scene earlier and then left, had to be called back.
Deputies, California Highway Patrol officers and passersby raced to hook up garden hoses and fight the fire, but in a matter of minutes the trailer was fully engulfed in flames.
A California Highway Patrol officer covers a man shot dead by a Plumas County deputy sheriff this evening, June 19, at Evergreen Motel and RV Park just outside of Quincy. Photo by Laura Beaton
Huge clouds of black smoke erupted from the trailer but firefighters soon had the blaze under control.
Authorities originally responded to a disturbance call. Neighbor Daniel Funke, who witnessed parts of the incident, said he was disturbed in his home by blaring music and crashing noises.
When he looked outside his window, he saw a man, who he identified as the victim, wielding a kitchen knife and a brick hammer and slashing at the fence and attacking the side of Funke’s trailer.
Funke alleges that the man threatened to kill him.
The disturbance, the shooting and the fire are all under investigation.
District Attorney Dave Hollister is the lead investigator on the case. Assistant Sheriff Dean Canalia was at the scene, awaiting arrival of DOJ officials.
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