[UPDATE] Arcata Police Not Releasing Photo of Suspect in Stabbing Death for Now

Homicide InvestigationArcata Police Chief Tom Chapman said that his department is not releasing the photo of Kyle Christopher Zoellner who was arrested early Saturday for the stabbing death of David Josiah Lawson, a 19-year-old Humboldt State University student.

“At this time we are not releasing the photo,” said Chapman. “We are continuing our investigation. Part of that interview process is suspect identification and until after our interviews have been completed, we are not releasing a photo.”

Chapman said that his detective was worried that releasing the photo could taint witnesses’ memories. “There are still outstanding witnesses,” he said. “Sometimes photos can influence people’s perception.In this particular case, we are holding back most of [details that led to the homicide] until we can interview all relevant witness.”

Chapman said that on the night of the stabbing, “There were at least 50 or more people still on site at the time when the officers arrived.”

UPDATE: Sound File of the stabbing scanner traffic. The sound file starts with the first mention of the incident and continues for about 13 minutes (at that point Shockwave stopped working for me.) Nonetheless, the major points seem to be that within three minutes of the first call that we hear on the scanner, CPR had begun. [Note: CPR likely being done by the victim’s friend Elijah Chandler.] Considering drive distance that is phenomenal. Now, this scanner doesn’t follow APD as closely as it does the Sheriff so I can’t swear this was the first call but it sounds like it.



  • Um why were all 50 partygoers not held for questioning that nite?
    Not arrested but told to stay until they could at least get names&phone numbers.
    I would suggest the family hire a P.I. like so many other families have had to when a crime happens to a loved one here.

    I hope if the perp gets out they can at least put an ankle monitor on him. With no direct evidence they will have to let him go.
    He was arrested before for choking an 18 year old woman and walked on that due to “lack of evidence”.
    Women arent just complaining about domestic abuse, those guys usually treat anyone who pisses them off the same way they treat their lady.

    RIP, best to the family, so sorry for your loss ♡

  • Ya wouldnt want to taint some witnesses just like ya wouldnt wanna witness some taints…

  • Why hide it? You can see him on his Facebook page.

  • I agree with their tactic, good call!

  • North Coast News just posted an exclusive interview with someone who claimed to have been there. He was extremely critical of first responders and said they were racist, took too long to get there and didn’t do anything when they arrived.

    Can you post the scanner traffic so we can get an idea of how long it was between when they were dispatched and when they arrived?

    The story he told in that interview just didn’t seem right.

    • Let’s see if this works.

      • Unfortunately, my comment software doesn’t allow me to upload sound files. However, I will add it onto the post above.

        • Thank you for posting that. That clarifies what was certainly misinformation. That sounds like the organized, professional response that is the norm from those first responders, even in such a tragic situation.

          Is that audio from the south or north scanner feed? I know they both cover arcata. Just wondering if one had better coverage.

    • I heard it was fifteen minutes until first responders got there …. The location of the stabbing was litterlly a 1 minute drive from mad river hospital …. Emergency responders are a joke around here this horrible situation could have be fixed if they didn’t buy have their heads up there asses

      • The scanner sounds like it is about 3 minutes until CPR is given but I’m not sure how long until medical arrived.

      • You heard wrong. An officer was on scene within 2-3 minutes. He was confronted with about 100 yelling screaming angry people that were more interested in attacking the police than helping their friend. So much so that it was unsafe for fire and ambulance to enter the scene. Any “delay” was caused by the crowd, not by the cops or EMS. Why do you suppose all the “friends” haven’t posted all their phone video, mmm? Because it would show what really happened.

        • A concerned citation

          Thank u for your comment. I am so sorry for the loss. But PLEASE every one SAVE your anger/hate and judgements, it is a waisted emotion. The truth about this will come out!!!! All everyone can do is pray for everyone involved. Please if anyone knows anything, has pictures, or videos contact the police, it will only help.

  • Covelo or busted

    Please post all the Audio/ video on this case you can….ASAP…. We really need cheering up,The world is almost over.. i dont want to miss this..

  • How do people who witnessed this come forward? What number do you call?

  • This whole situation is so tragic in so many ways and should never of happened. However at this time there are so many details that make no sense. Why did the District attorney wait until the last hour to file charges? Why did the Police Captain publicly state that the accused was the killer the day before the arraignment?

    On television, Monday the 17th, the eye witness Elijah stated he saw Josiah being sprayed with mace and being stabbed by the girls and the person accused of the actual stabbing. He said he then ran over to where Elijah was bleeding under a tree. Two days later he publicly stated he was sprayed in the face prior to the stabbing and could barely see. If the victim was stabbed where the mace was sprayed and Elijah was also sprayed at the same location wouldn’t the victims body be located at the same spot, yet he says he ran to where Josiah was at under a tree? Another witness publicaly shared that the accused was beaten up after the stabbing? Is this true or not? Was Elijah also in a fight with the accused before the stabbing? He was sprayed during the altercation so he was at the same location during the fight?

    Many unanswered questions that must be answered now before details are lost so the truth can come out. Everyone involved should be questioning everything as nothing makes sense right now which is unacceptable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *