Suspect Never Fired; Officers Shot More Than 40 Rounds, According to North Coast Journal Article

Eureka Police chief Andrew Mills

Eureka Police Chief Andrew Mills at a press conference yesterday following the shooting of an allegedly armed suspect who fled law enforcement on Tuesday evening. [Photo by Mark McKenna]

According to an article just posted by the North Coast Journal, Southern Humboldt man Clayton Lasinski may never have fired a shot and officers fired more than 40 in a foot chase through downtown Eureka during rush hour on Tuesday.

The article (read the entire piece here) states,

Mills also confirmed this afternoon that he doesn’t believe Lasinski ever fired his .45 caliber pistol during the incident that took place shortly before 5 p.m.

“I do not believe he fired any rounds — I believe he didn’t know how to manipulate the gun,” Mills said, explaining that the gun taken from Lasinski at the end of the incident had a full clip, an empty chamber and its hammer cocked back, which Mills believes indicates Lasinski didn’t realize he had to pull a round into the gun’s chamber in order to fire and was “dry firing” the weapon at officers.

For video and photos placed in a timeline, click this link: What We Know About the Officer-Involved Shooting.

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95 comments

  • 40 Rounds fired and the guy survived, that is some piss poor shooting. Just spray and pray all over town. That doesn’t sound good. There are people out there.

  • whokilledourdaddy

    No wonder there is so much crime in Eureka, the criminals are much better shots than EPD. 40 shots during rush hour by EPD… we think it’s time for those boys to hit the range a bit more…

    • Perhaps, but at the same time the dumbarse criminals don’t appear to know how to actually work their gunz. So that’s a win for us decent folks!

      As to your username, perhaps the old Southern adage applies?

      • Until you catch a stray, 40 rounds fired in the daytime in the middle of town is ridiculous not matter who is pulling the trigger, I’m am amazed no ones else was hurt,

      • Bronco, without even knowing you I can tell you don’t like Mexicans very much.

      • Yeah a Lasinski that doesn’t know how to shoot a gun. That’s like a Lasinski thst doesn’t know how to cook meth, shoot heroin or steel car parts.

      • BRONCO, whokilledourdaddy refers to the unsolved Casey Campbell murder. it is the question his 4 and 3 yr old sons ask me regularly… but you wouldn’t know that, you just like to make smart remarks here.

    • Did they get Storm Troopers for Range Masters??? 45 rounds & how many times was the subject actually hit???

  • I hate to admit it, but that doesn’t sound very good on EPD. Shooting 40+ rounds in the middle of downtown during rush hour with only one round hitting the intended target is a pretty sad scenario. I also think Chief Mills explanation of the guy not knowing how to manipulate the gun is a bit of stretch. The guy was raised in so hum in a criminally prone family. I’m willing to bet he’s had plenty of back woods shooting sessions in his past. If he pulled or leveled his gun at officers, I definitely feel lethal force was justified, but the outcome doesnt paint a very good picture on how they handled it.

    • Im surprised that youre surprised. If you havent please look up the epd and police shootings and then for fun how many millions spent in lost wrongful death lawsuits involving epd over the last few years. Oh and dont forget to check out the money spent on “non-lethal” weaponry.
      The story no news agency here would touch besides kmud news (kudos) is the statewide study that found that eureka is one of the top 3 cities you are most likely to be shot by police. Check it out! 40 shots in a public place like that is unacceptable. No k-9 to get him? Taser with prongs that embed in the skin? (Usually those can be fired from some distance) Or put to use the armored car the county somehow found money to purchase. They can ride that thing up to someone shooting and pop out with pepper spray even.

      Im not anti-police and have had officers ive talked with tell me that abuse of power doesnt help anyone. Like any group, bad ones make the good ones look bad. Our job as citizens is to exercise our rights and hold officials accountable. We pay their salaries, which really arent adequate for the job their doing- major problem and its not hard to see how a cop could get pushed to an action that is regrettable. That doesnt make it right tho.

      • Don’t forget this guy was going around town stuffing his gun in everyone’s face and taking their car, maybe epd shouldn’t have shot and maybe he would have pistol whipped your mom or grandma or sister or bother or son, and as far as wrongful death suits , hungry lowlife attorneys that will do anything for a buck, I think everyone should be sued for something stupid so you can see how it works, open up your mind and take a small glimpse of the otherside

        • I think every police shooting deserves investigation. Its only fair to the officer to ensure their duties were performed accordingly, and its only fair to the victim and their family to ensure you werent wrongfulky killed. Theres plenty of things our justice system wastes money on nation wide like prop 57 making several forms of rape and drive bys non violent crimes. Millions of dollars wasted to cushion criminals. Investigating a police shooting is far more noble spending…..

        • I agree totally L R . Attorneys suck, all they care about is their bank accounts. Justice and fairness in our judicial system are figments of our imagination.

  • He should never brandished that gun and pointed it at the officers. We’re they REALLY supposed to know he didn’t know how to shoot it… Sorry, DONT POINT A GUN At An OFFICER!!!

    • It’s inexcusable that cops in a city environment have such terrible aim and lack of discipline. It puts innocent lives at risk.

      Unless… Maybe all the cops who fired were hoping for some ‘paid administrative leave pending an investigation’ so they could take a paid vacation over the holidays……

  • Magazine, not clip.

    • What’s the difference? Serious question lol

      • A clip is slang for a magazine and a specific type of magazine that bullets could be clipped into used in older weapons. (Think ww2 style) Magazines are more self contained. Everyone knows what you’re talking about if you say clip, but for some reason gun enthusiasts get their knickers knotted about the specifics. Kinda like the grammar police or something. Better say magazine or you’ll put at risk everyone’s hard ons in the gun shop.

      • A clip holds the rounds to be placed into the magazine. A magazine has a spring which feeds the rounds into the gun as it is fired. Some guns like the M1 are loaded faster with a clip or stripper clip.

  • smells like a liar.

    i dont believe the hammer was cocked. i dont believe the suspect was ‘dry firing’. the police chief is insulting our intelligence presenting first and foremost the idea that the suspect didnt even know how to use the gun. a kid can figure it out. i believe the police want to make their own shooting seem that much more justified before any trial, as when they described circumstances around the tommy mclain shooting prior to court, a trial in which they also lied through their teeth.

    • How does the shooting become more justified if the suspect didn’t actually fire a gun…………..?

      • smells like a liar.

        kym, it doesnt. you must not have really read my post, but thats the point. when the chief of police tells us that the suspect was actively trying to shoot them, it paints a much different picture for the public eye than one in which the suspect was simply running from them. guilty before even going to court. remember, this is the same police chief who didnt disclose to the eager public that tommy mclain had an unloaded bb gun, instead choosing only to tell the public that they recovered a gun, and left it at that. its shady, its intentional, its dishonest and it goes against everything people all over the nation are demanding from our police.

        • To be fair, the Chief isn’t the only one saying that Clayton threatened people with the gun. There are two employees of the motel that attempted to detain him, according to the Chief–yes, he could have lied but it would be foolish as he could easily be found out. And, Mark McKenna, our reporter, spoke to a man at the scene who told Mark that someone who sounded like the suspect had pointed a gun at him right after the red car that was stolen came to a stop in the road.

          • smells like a liar.

            fair, like he was for tommy mclain and witnesses who directly contradict that police report? his track record sucks.

            • Maybe EPD officers DRANK the forty shots before drawing a pistol. Ha ha. No but that’s extremely important to remember that 40 people could have been hit by stray bullets.

            • He is also the same chief that blamed Casey Campbell for his own murder and couldn’t decide if it was justified or not, knowing Casey was shot in the back…

          • But still epd sprayed 40 rounds?????? yeeeeehaaaaa!!!!!

        • smells like a liar.

          …also, a forensic cadet could have told you on the spot whether or not that gun had been fired. mills knows for a fact the gun wasnt fired, not “derrr…i dunno, probably not.”

        • Leveling a gun on an officer while being pursued for committing a crime is justification enough for the officers to use deadly force. Period, end of discussion. Wether or not any bullets were fired or a round was in the chamber does not effect the outcome. If you are ignorant enough to make such actions towards an officer, then expect this type of outcome. No room for boo hooing the victim/perpetrator/criminal. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Kick the hive and chance getting stung. It really is that simple. If you don’t want to get shot by the police, do not pull stunts like the ignorant person in this article.

          • they work for us.

            i totally agree with everything you wrote, law fighter. if the suspect were running at me, id thank the polive wholeheart. but thats not what im talking about. they need to be real with us, there shouldnt be a reason otherwise. your cief of police is leading a shady story…again. he obviously doesnt think twice about it. it matters in real life because one shady police officer can screw up your whole familys life forever. 40 rounds of wildfire in the middle of downtown, and bullshit that the suspect didnt know how to work the gun etc. when they fuck up they need to be held accountable. cops are notoriously brutal everywhere usa, its important to keep them in check, nobodys getting paid but them, by us.

            • “Keep them in check”, good luck with that. “be held accountable”, absolutely. I don’t see where they might have made a mistake or this is somehow “bullshit”. The criminal/victim had a loaded fire arm that he was pointing at people and possibly the officers. Wether or not 40 rounds is a bit excessive and dangerous to the public, is another question. However, based on what I know, he was in the wrong and him getting shot seems justified.

    • I agree, the blue wall is pretty tall. Do I blame them for covering their butts, by spinning the story, no. Do I blame them for erring on the side of caution when it comes to dealing with a fleeing criminal with a gun, no. But firing 40 rounds, that is insane and just bad police work. 10 rounds is a lot of shooting, but 40, somebody should be doing some explaining.

      • There were 40 cops , they each shot once, does that sound better?Only 4 could afford to go on administration leave , since no overtime is available on leave and eureka pay is so low.

        • That sounds even worse, that would mean up to 39 missed and nobody fired a fatal shot, which is, from what I have read, the purpose when a cop fires at someone.

          • Shoot to stop, not kill that is the new liberal training program, so apparently they got a 100 percent on that end, wouldn’t you agree, or was he still twitching?

  • The Lasinski clan is multiple generations of degenerates. It’s sad to think, but they are all so abused by the time they are ten, they are basically just throw aways. People used to give the kids money because they felt so bad for them. In return the kids would just rob and steal from the same people who gave them money. It’s almost like they are cursed, because none of them have a chance in hell of being in a normal, loving family.

    • Actually, some of they’re distant relatives/ close relatives bearing different last names, are great people and have loving family’s. Don’t know if you knew that.

    • This comment is not correct. Do you live in southern Humboldt? Because if you do, I’m betting you have frequented one of them at their job for the past 8 years. And you have probably made purchases and friendly conversations with him.
      Keep talking shit, judging , trying to keep them down, but some are productive respectful members of society and you have a nasty growth on the back of your head you should get checked out!!!

  • One shot. One kill.

    How in blazes can trained officers expend so much ammunition and only hit the target once?

    More range time, less donut shops, kids.

    Geeze. Only Hannibal Smith, Mr T, Face or Murdock could possibly blast away so ineffectively.

  • Hmm wow, I had a little faith in the officers but really 40 shots? Also he clearly knows how to load a gun he’s from so hum. I don’t think he even pulled the gun out and pointed it at them now. They probably got word he had a gun and went after him guns blazing.
    What a shame.

  • Well I’m glad they didn’t kill him, and for them to say he couldn’t work a gun is an insult to our inteligence.
    Usually when a cop shoots in eureka or humboldt you die…so find some more bullshit to argue about and be blind to media shit. They tell you sheeple what they want and you listen. Simple as that.
    prayers for the family, healing both pysicly and mentaly.
    Violence against cops isn’t ok, but neither is cops violence against citizens.
    No one knows the real story except those who where there, so come on argue some more, that’s the point….to get you pissed at each other so you forget what was really even being talked about and forget about a little thing called compassion.

  • Are they police trained to empty their magazines?

  • If you can’t aim a gun, don’t shoot it. Especially at rush hour in downtown!! I think the entire department needs to be investigated by the state for reckless behavior. Clowns with live ammunition, spraying it all over. A miracle that a civilian or even a child didn’t became an accident! Wow.

    • Door is wide open for lawsuit, humboldt is all about easy money, come on I know there has to be at least a 100 out there that are thinking about suing

  • As far as I’m concerned the E.P.D ARE VERY GOOD SHOTS the only person hit was the bad guy !!!!

  • To me it’s weird that they can’t account for how many shots where fired. As an officer you can’t figure out how many times you fired and reloaded. Bullshit as always. Sad. We have to give police more training, and sorry to say…quit hiring people fresh out of war (military).

  • Maybe this is a case of suicide by cop. I’m surprised no one has mentioned this yet. Think about how it all came down and how he acted during the pursuit. Jacking a car in front of the police station! He also never fired his gun and kept pointing it at the police.

    Also 40+ shots could actually mean many more than that. We know now, that if that was in his mind to do, he made a mistake picking Eureka!

  • 40 shots and one hit? That is disgusting. These “professionals” need to spend more time at the range and less time at the doughnut shop. Did you notice how obese some of those guy are. And others are just plain fat.

  • I know Clayton, he was very familiar with firearms. Had he wanted to fire the weapon he would have.

  • Attorney’s will be flocking here to establish job security for the next city lawsuit victim. Another reason why the 2nd amendment is so important to be able to protect yourself and family.

  • I wonder where the other 39 bullets ended up? Cars? Buildings? I wonder who is responsible for the damage. Just curious.

    • I’m very curious about those same questions. If a citizen fired 40 rounds in public, law enforcement wouldn’t rest until every bullet and its casing was accounted for, and every bullet would be used as further reason to throw the book at the citizen. It’ll be espectially interesting to see which local journalists are ethical enough to ask the EPD these questions directly.

      • Chief Mills said in his press briefing that most of the bullets had been accounted for. The required report should indicate where each went.

        • Kym, as long as you have been reporting in Humboldt, its amazing to me you’re not more skeptical of what the police say. We all know they like to embellish the truth in their favor. Girl.

          • In my opinion, police are probably as likely as anyone else to try and protect themselves. But, they aren’t likely to lie if they think they will be found out. (And just like the rest of the community, I believe, some will almost never lie, some rarely lie, and some are frequent liars. ) If Mills said that motel employees were threatened by Clayton, he knows he’s going to have to prove that.

            The report that is generated about this shooting is going to have to show where the bullets were or where they can’t be found. Then it is up to others to sift through the information and see if there are issues.

            Do I think it is problematic that only law enforcement reports on law enforcement? Yes, absolutely. Do I think the report could be presented more favorably to law enforcement because the CIRT team includes only “nine people, including a captain, two lieutenants, a sergeant, two deputies, someone from the Arcata Police Department and representatives of the sheriff’s training and firearms divisions. ( http://www.northcoastjournal.com/NewsBlog/archives/2015/02/12/shooting-highlights-differences-in-local-policies )? God, yes.

            Nonetheless, it drives me crazy to see people making claims with no evidence and wanting their ideas to be given as much validity as those with evidence behind them. If someone has concerns, then they need to do the work to show those concerns have validity. They can’t just throw out accusations and expect everyone to believe them.

            • Police shoot people because they can. Old retired officers I’ve known went 30 years without ever ever firing a shot in anger. I know that there were times when those officers feared for their lives, but the last option for them was shooting some citizen. Now, it is common for police to shoot people because they were frightened. Old people, bums, children drunks, it is equal opportunity killing. Hiring people who are able to deal with this stress is the key. Many LEOs have never been in a physical altercation in their lives.

              • I think the constant increase in drug related offenses and the migrating of the mutitudes of people who have traveled from near and far to secure for themselves the most coveted job hiring these days for “Trimming up our agriculture and making sure it’s all cleverly packaged for export , and “men, women, and children” in general that have access to weapons, are finding that it’s much easier and quicker to just get themselves jacked up out of their minds on whatever is the drug of choice for them, make sure they’re being irritated at just the right dosage to be able to pick up said weapons and aim them at people and fire or threaten to shoot without that nagging guilt feeling until their dope wears off. Times have changed in the last 30 years. I would be apprehensive these days if I was in LE to even give someone a jaywalking ticket. It doesn’t take as much to push people to the point of irrational thinking and actions as it did in the era you’re speaking of Uncle Dave. LEO’s today have no clue what they will run across in an eight, ten, or twelve hour shft.

  • Everyone has an opinion. Especially those who were not there. My only thought is he had a gun and was threatening people and the cops. Was 40 shots excessive, could be, but I wasn’t there and I don’t know the whole story. I will reserve comment until all the alleged info is out.

  • I agree with Kim and Rock and Roll about 1)having a gun in the first place, 2) aiming it at a police officer = not the brightest move in the first place, especially if you’re running/hiding from a jail sentence in the Midwest. And it’s not like local LE does not know this kid from previous encounters. Mostly from weed and traffic violations. Too bad he didn’t leave it at that. His sentence probably just got a bit longer and they may not be as willing to let him loose before sentencing/trail or, I’m wondering if they would extradite him to the Midwest to serve that jail sentence first. Whether or not he fired his gun this time he was resorting to its use for nefarious purposes in the first place. Would you want him to point it at you in any circumstances whether he ‘knew’ how to operate it or not?

  • Wow im just shocked NOT. I thought as long as you had a badge you could do whatever you wanted…like shoot during RUSH HOUR through a busy ass town. The shooters probably wont be reprimanded for putting the community in harms way by spraying bullets around. I thought their slogan was to PROTECT AND SERVE not to SHOOT FIRST ASK QUESTIONS LATER.

    • How was in anyone in harms way , they couldn’t even deliver a fatal shot to the target , or was it 39 warning shots and one to stop the perp. You’ll have to ask the cops , only they know the answer , but if the gave 39 warning shots and one non-lethal shot then they are pretty nice group and deserve a pat on the back

    • Protect and serve….shoot and stand over them and watch him bleed out..

  • I think the EPD is one of the better LE agencies in the county, but really, 40 shots and only one hit? This does not look good.

    Either the officers need to exert a lot more control to avoid taking a bad shot and/or they need a lot more training in hitting the target when taking a good shot.

  • All this happened because of an alledged California stop?
    Why did he drive away instead of face a ticket? Was he scared of unlawful search & seizure?
    At least he didn’t leave the weapon with the (assumed) innocent passengers, which would have placed them under suspiciousness, arrest, or threat. Instead, he drew attention away from them.
    What bothers me more than the lack of proper weapons field training, is the fright citizens feel when pulled over. Their car, their possessions, … just hand them the rip off infraction ticket and call it a day. Stop all this search & seizure bs.

  • All I got to say he is lucky they didn’t shoot him in the back .

  • Sounds like we’re going back to the wild wild west in Eureka. Bullets flying everywhere. Either the wild west or Oakland.

  • EPD ever hear about collateral damage

  • 39 shots bouncing around the streets of eureka rush hour Tuesday. Who can defend that. Olé trigger finger should be FIRED.

  • Never heard bout so much lead dumped on one target. The cop wouldn’t even come close to passing hunters safety course. & that’s at 12 yrs old.

    • I have been hunting for 56 years. If a deer points a .45 at me, my shot placement will be greatly compromised. Think about it!

  • I mean cops. Plural.

  • There is a lot of couch cops on this thread and possibly a troll or two. What happened here wasn’t a television show, it was real life, folks! There would be a lot of dead police officers if they were to act like Matt Dillon (Gun Smoke). Under attack, many shots will be fired to pin down a perpetrator. Stick your head out at the wrong time you could be dead! These Police Officers, no doubt, are expert shots at the range without their lives being in danger. The EPD did right here. Consider their situation, people!

    • We’ve been told that 4 police officers shot their guns. That is an average of 10+ shots each. The perpetrator never fired his weapon. I think the officers got confused and stressed hearing all the shots and thinking the perpetrator was firing his weapon at them, when it was actually their fellow officers firing away.

      There were only 30 shots fired during the gun battle at the O.K. Corral between 5 lawmen and 5 outlaw cowboys. That was an average of 3 shots fired per man. 3 men were killed and 3 were wounded.

      How will the gun battle in the streets of Eureka between 4 Lawmen and one perpetrator go down in history? Over 40 shots fired by 4 Lawmen and 1 perpetrator wounded!

  • The 39 were just warning shots until it was time to hit the target.

  • Joe back must be a cop. Maybe one of the shooters for epd.

  • Just keep dumping lead till something drops.

    • Law enforcement is the one job where everyone that doesn’t do it knows more than those that do. I am not a police officer, John. I couldn’t handle the stress to myself and my family and I thank God there are those who do it! If I need them, day or night, all I have to do is dial 911

  • Would post complete name but don’t need war with cops.

  • Claybo wouldn’t shoot at a cop I no that for fact & he was only running with it in his hand cause it was the only place to have it. He only put the gun in the face of the person in the car because they wouldn’t give up their car, but would never of shot them. I think the law was completely out of line & look like crap for unloading 40 rounds in down town & only hit him twice. Claybo knows how to shoot & he’s good so thier lucky he don’t shoot cops or anyone for that matter ok. He is a good kid & I love him & the hole bunch

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