What We Know About the Officer-Involved Shooting

Photos by Mark McKenna]

A Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputy held the perimeter near the command center where media were gathered waiting for an official statement, last night. [All photos by Mark McKenna]

Today law enforcement, media, and the community piece together what occurred yesterday during a running chase through the streets of Eureka that ended with a wounded suspect in surgery. We’ve put together video and photos to illustrate what we know at this point.

Though the incident begins earlier, the first clear indication of trouble for most of law enforcement occurred at 4:43 p.m. when CHP requested assistance after a man allegedly fled a traffic stop while carrying a firearm. This occurred near West Commercial between 4th and 5th Street.

The suspect led officers on an extreme foot chase that, according to scanner traffic, included leaping off the balcony at the Best Western Humboldt Bay Inn and scrambling over fences. The suspect stole a red car. Then later abandoned it on 6th near B Street.

Photos by Mark McKenna]

A vehicle that appeared to have been hit by gun fire was in the intersection of 6th and B Streets next to the EPD headquarters. [All photos by Mark McKenna]

One witness, a father headed to pick up his son, told our reporter that he saw a red car going the wrong way on 6th Street. Shortly after that, apparently after the suspect abandoned the vehicle, the witness said a man approached his vehicle, pointed a handgun at him, and yelled something. “He assumed the guy was trying to car jack him,” explained our reporter Mark McKenna, “but he didn’t hear what the guy said. He just threw his car in reverse and ducked.” The driver was able to get away safely from the man with a gun.

At 4:51 p.m., according to scanner traffic, an officer reported the suspect “going towards the backlot of the Eureka Police Department.” Then immediately afterwards came the report of shots fired. See video below for one person’s view of the incident.

“The cops are shooting at someone in downtown Eureka. Right here, guys,” yells someone off camera after gunfire is heard.

By 4:53 p.m. came the report over the scanner that the suspect was down on 5th Street between B and C. Medical was requested.

Another witness videoed the suspect crumpled on the ground near a car as officers approached and removed what appears to be the suspect’s firearm. Then they called the ambulance closer.

Video provided by Tom Sadler

Below our reporter, Mark McKenna, captured the scene of the shooting, in a series of gripping photos, just after officers approached the suspect.

Officers secured the scene before clearing medical personnel to respond to the victim.

Officers secured the scene before clearing medical personnel to respond to the victim.

Medical personal that had been staging, rush to render aid to a male who was shot by officers following a pursuit.

Medical personal that had been staging, rush to render aid to a male who was shot by officers following a pursuit.

Medical personal that had been staging, rush to render aid to a male who was shot by officers following a pursuit.

Officers and medical personnel work together to get the wounded suspect to the waiting ambulance.

EPD Captain Steve Watson, right, and Sgt. Gary Whitmore talk during the investigation of an officer involved shooting that took place near EPD headquarters around 5 P.M. Tuesday evening.

EPD Captain Steve Watson, right, and Sgt. Gary Whitmore talk during the investigation of an officer involved shooting that took place near EPD headquarters around 5 P.M. Tuesday evening.

CHP officers search for evidence.

CHP officers search for evidence.

Officers gather at the command center during the investigation.

Officers gather at the command center during the investigation.

A Sheriffs Deputy walks past the Arcata Police Critical Incident Response Vehicle near the scene of the officer involved shooting.

A Sheriff’s deputy walks past the Arcata Police Critical Incident Response Vehicle near the scene of the officer involved shooting.

An officer put up tape to extent the permitter.

An officer put up tape to extend the permitter.

Personal search for evidence at the corner of B and 5th Streets in Eureka.

Personal search for evidence at the corner of B and 5th Streets in Eureka as holiday lights glow.

EPD Chief Andrew Mills gives a statement to the media, but did not take questions.

EPD Chief Andrew Mills gives a statement to the media, but did not take questions.

Earlier Chapters: 

 

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43 comments

  • Officers involved need some range time!

  • Call me A.D.D. but....

    Thank you, EPD!

  • Nice pictures and reporting Mark.

  • Way to shoot for non-lethal hits, folded him up like a taco, when the drugs wear off he is going to be hurtin

  • Props to the cops for not beating & cuffing the wounded man, like we see all too often

    • [Edit: Please no insulting other commenters. I will have to ban you if you keep breaking the rule.]

      • Must you really resort to name calling? I have seen many videos of cops cuffing suspects after they have been shot, and a few of them where they are hitting them after they have been shot. And many times it was justified, because the suspect was fighting back because they were not severely wounded. When you resort to name calling, it doesn’t show that you are intelligent enough to come up with a better response. Being kind is better than being right, and really, you just have a difference of opinion than Veterans friend.

  • What happened here is legal murder. What a shame.

    • WTF ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT????? THE ASSHOLE HAD A GUN, AND HE’S RUNNING FROM THE COPS!!!!!! AND SHOOTING AT THE COPS!!!!???? MAYBE WE SHOULD JUST SAY” THAT’S OKAY BUDDY. JUST DON’T DO IT AGAIN”.???????

      • What are you freaking out about. I’m on the LEO’s side. I know they had to open fire, I say it’s a shame just because this happened. And I say it’s legal murder because this happens everday in our country, most are justified but still a shame. It’s just as hard “mentally” on the officers who had to fire they’re weapons than it is on the suspect. Don’t get angered because someone is looking at this with some compassion.

        • (Trump=hate)=bigot.

        • One. Don’t use the word “murder” then as it requires criminal elements. The word you are looking for is homicide.

          Two. He isn’t dead, which is definitely required for murder or homicide.

        • “Legal murder” is by definition impossible. Get a dictionary before your next protest libtard.

        • When you call it “murder”, the implication is that is NOT justified. Compassion for who? The guy that caused this mess (the perpetrator), or the guy(s) who had to respond to it (the police)?? You should learn how to word what youre trying to say correctly. The fact is, YOU are just as much a hater as any other hater, by spreading your cop hate bullshit as if its a form of compassion. Then you try to backtrack and say you’re on the side of law enforcement. I’m sure they would totally understand you calling them murderers. [edit]

        • The dude’s alive. So it would be attempted murder, at most. The outcome is predictable, though. The police can never do wrong, with their crystal-clear accountability and easy public access to body camera footage. Chief Mills will “prove” that he opened fire on the police; the officers’ actions will be deemed “justified”. The media will repeat the story once more, then bury it; the public will shift their attention to the latest news on Brad Pitt or whatever celebrities they’re stalking these days. History: made up every day.

          • It was justified as soon as he pointed his gun at the citizen driver, regardless of your opinion on cops. BTW, I think Brad is going to get split custody of the kids. It seems fair. They all have hyphenated last names. Maddox Jolie-Pitt is my favorite. That dude can rock a suit, and he beat up Brad Pitt in an airplane.

    • How is it murder, the suspect isn’t dead, hes in the hospital…??

    • No such thing as legal murder. The definition of murder is: the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another.

  • No props for threatening jail time for onlookers.

  • It is sad that we live in a world where onlookers are recording a friggen shoot out and a person on the ground who may or may not be dead. The last thing I would be thinking of when something like this happens is video tapping it let alone putting on YouTube. Where is the humanity?

    • You and me, both. But we must accept this is The Video Age!

    • I totally get your objection to the ghoulishness of it, but video documentation can help everyone involved keep a more level head. It can exonerate police falsely accused of using excessive force — or provide evidence against them if they do use excessive force. Until all police are wearing body cameras, it’s probably not a bad idea.

  • ALL I WANT TO SAY IS IF U WATCH THE VIDEO OF THE COPS FIRST WALKING UP TO THE GUY ON THE GROUND IT SURE LOOKS LIKE FAT BOY PLANTS A GUN ON HIM. MAYBE IM SEEING SHIT BUT I CAN SAY THATS WHAT I SEE.

    • He clearly took the gun out of his hand and put it on the hood of the black car, nice try tho, props for not shooting him again they actually showed great restraint compared to most the shootings I have seen on the news lately

  • So, not to get off subject, but as the second paragraph in this story states; “Though the incident begins earlier,”, what happened to start this?

  • Looks like the cops need to go on a diet. It is embarrassing how fat so many of them are. WTF. Less doughnuts and more salad and exercise.

  • If you point a gun at or shoot at a police officer you can kiss your ass good bye. I respect our police officers they put their lives on the line everyday to protect us. It is all these tweekers, druggies, and parole violators mentaly unstable non conformists thats making our streets so dangerous.

  • Well at least the cops here didn’t just kill him,like all the other places in the world.could have been the chest instead of the legs.hes pretty lucky,considering he was shooting at them.and they had every right to shoot back!I’m pretty sure we would all shoot back if someone was trying to shoot YOU.right

  • Thank you EPD for keeping us safe. They managed to keep this guy from hurting anyone else. What a tough job to have.

  • Wait – at one point he was running towards the back door of the police station…..with a handgun? Must have had meds on board.

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