Man Dead and Officer Injured After Early Morning Shooting at the Arcata Plaza

At approximately 1:40 a.m, an officer involved shooting occurred at the Arcata Plaza. A Humboldt State Universtiy officer was injured and a man, not a student, was killed.

A witness, Elijah Browning, who took the video above showing officers performing CPR on the man tells us, “The man…seemed under the influence…[He] went towards the police…[Officers] called in [that an officer was shot and then] opened fire…[The man] came outta nowhere… from the jam area…[I]t was so random.”

Browning said he was drunk and isn’t sure the man shot first but he thinks so.

A press release from the Arcata Police gives more information:

On September 9, 2017 at about 1:40am, an Arcata Police Officer and a Humboldt State University Police Officer were investigating a report of a man seen waiving a handgun on the Plaza. Reportedly the man was involved in an altercation when he displayed the gun.

Preliminary reports indicate that as the police officers approached a parked vehicle, the suspect, a twenty-six year-old male, with past felony convictions, got out of the vehicle and fired a handgun at the officers. The Humboldt State University Police Officer was wounded by the gun fire. Both officers returned fire, hitting the man. The man was not an HSU student. He was pronounced dead at the Mad River Community Hospital. His identity is being withheld pending notification of family. The police officer who was shot was transported to a local Hospital where he has been admitted. His injuries are not life-threatening. A handgun was recovered at the crime scene.

The Humboldt County Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) which includes investigators from the Eureka Police Department, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office, Fortuna Police Department, California Highway Patrol and the Department of Justice Crime Laboratory are investigating this shooting.

Witnesses are asked to call the Arcata Police Department, (707) 822-2426.

No further information will be released at this time. The Arcata Police Department will issue an update this evening at 6pm.


Meanwhile, the Arcata Farmer’s Market is happening alongside the crime scene. “We’re all scrambled today but we’re here,” said Paul Leslie, Board Member with the North Coast Growers and owner of Humboldt Honey Wine. The farmers won’t be in their regular spots but they will all be available, he said.

HSU President Lisa Rossbacher released a statement saying, “Our officer was shot this morning while serving and protecting our community. He was treated, and I’m relieved to hear that he is in stable condition. I want him, and his family, to know that we appreciate his service and that they are in our thoughts.”

HSU Police Chief Donn Peterson stated, “This situation began with the University Police Department assisting Arcata Police as they responded to an incident near the Plaza.  A University Police officer was shot and wounded during an encounter with an armed subject.  His injuries are serious, but do not appear to be life threatening.  The role of the University Police Department now will be to support the investigation into this incident.”



  • amimissingsomething

    Darwin Award Nominee for 2017! Grateful the officers are ok.

  • He won’t be doing that again…

  • Good tactic to make arcatas granola heads believe the guy shot first.
    Sounds a bit fishy.

    • Doesn’t matter who shot first, you pull a gun you will be shot, (or atleast shot at a bunch)

      • due to police training, they think that they should not incur even a tiny percent of danger. they cover their asses so well in this statement… another execution me thinks

        • According to several accounts, the man shot at them–wounding one. At what point should officers shoot if not when an officer has been shot?

          • Agreed, Kym. I’m about as suspicious of the police as one can get, but the preliminary reports indicate this shooting was probably justified.

          • Same as I heard at the scene this morning. Totally self defense on the part of the officers. Unbelievable they bothered to try to give him CPR. They had every right to go up and piss on his dying carcass and open up on his buddies in the vehicle. They kept there cool and should be commended for it. These officers are local hero’s that put there lives on the line over a bunch of drunken assholes fighting over a girl. None of them local I was told. So these cops protected local citizens, HSU students, and yes even the drunk college brat dumbass pussy hat wearing ‘white-cop’ haters inside the bars and on the street. So all you assholes who want to say one thing about these cops can go back to what ever shit holes you crawled out of. Peace and remember ‘love trumps hate’. What a bunch of jerks.

            • That was my baby brother😭😭😭😭😭

              • Stay up tweety i know this is you ma. Stay up ok. We’re all praying we love you. Screw that man Ralph and his IRRELEVANT opinion . Karma will take care of him.

              • sorry to hear that and my condolences to your family. I still stand by every word I said and I detailed the incident accuratetly nearly 24 hours before it was on the news. It could have been a lot worse for everybody becuase of your brother. RIP for your brother. Don’t take it out on our community. The results would have been the same anywhere and where ever your from your ‘homies’ can get the word not to come here and start shit.

            • It is believable that they administered CPR. It’s their responsibility as a first responder.

          • Officers are NOT TRAINED TO WOUND. It’s not the movies people, it’s real life. I’m sad to see someone die. But I’m very happy the Officer is, and will be ok. He’s a great man and a great Officer.

          • Maybe officers should turn around so they can get shot in the back like they do in 80% of their fatal encounters with unarmed black men. Would have been decent karma, Kym. But then again, people like you whose livelihood is based on the power structure of systemic racism wouldn’t agree with me. You going to post his music videos if you find them too?

            • When there is an indication of racism, I’ll call it that. When the evidence seems to show that the officers shot in self-defence, I’ll say that. Systematic racism exists. But wnen people try to tie in reasonable responses to racism, then legitimate worries about law enforcement are made to look false, too.

              And, if I find out this guy was a rapper or a well-known author or a child molester or a Sunday School teacher, I would probably mention it. That is news.

        • Seriously? He actually shot one of them! Are they supposed to wait until he kills one of them before returning fire? No this one is justified.

    • How did the officers arrange for one of their own to get shot then? Do you think they shot him themselves?

      • JustWantToHeartheEndoftheStory

        Thank you Kym, I was thinking the same thing when I heard that very LOUD and self important voice on the video proclaiming “We are all witnesses!” witness to what? Was she telling a police officer that she and her friends were witnesses? Or just being self aggrandizing (lots of that in Arcata!)

      • Kym – The man shot at the officers first.

        • Susan, this is in reply to The Manager who said, “Good tactic to make arcatas granola heads believe the guy shot first. Sounds a bit fishy.”

          I was expressing skepticism of his scenario.

      • Great comment Kym. Also your doing a fantastic job. Thank you

    • Proud Deplorable Grandma

      What tactic?

    • Yeah it really does, how can I say the man singing Drunk I stepped out of the crowd but the news is saying that he stepped out of the car and open fire yeah this is fishy.

  • The dead man is white so nobody in Arcata will protest.

  • Not unexpected but just another example of what Arcata has become.. From the innocent days of bongos on the plaza to Dread John and Ragman Pete welcoming travellers on the plaza and telling them of good places to crash then fast forward to what it is today. And it will get much much worse….The money is all leaving. It really is. Expect MORE transients being MORE desperate. Expect MORE bad behavior and expect MORE crime. As our local economy spins into the toilet bowl and leaves us all with the tattered pieces behind….Thank a mega-grower! Thank the “step into the light” people! Thank the Gallegos supporters! Thank everybody who encouraged the greedy over-fueling of our grow scene until it rolled off the cliff!! And enjoy the social chaos and future shootings!! Winter is here…

    • Well, crap! Shall we all just shoot ourselves? Have you even thought about all the negativity you have pent up inside of you? I’m sick and tired of reading posts like yours. Try being positive! There are good things in the world.

      • What’s that river in Egypt? If your pissed your paying attention!

      • Willow creek local

        Welcome to the platform that kym kemp has made on and lost coast outpost. Basically just a bunch of judgy bs. Keyboard cowboys who feel like there making a difference for some reason. Scared to show there faces or ever speak up in real life. Humboldts version of star magazine

        • I’ll make you the same offer I have before:

          You call people judging others without posting their names “keyboard cowboys.” To a certain extent I agree with you. But obviously, you have some reason to avoid posting your name and likely others do, too.

          I offer you the option of sending me an email showing me where I’m breaking my site rules and say I’ll make changes if I agree with you. You didn’t send me an email. (You know you can just make up a fake email and not worry that I can track you down. First, I have better things to do. Second, I’m technically challenged and can’t.)

          You talk about negativity in others but you do almost nothing here but blast others while hiding behind a fake name. Either offer some positive solutions or hush. Yes, I know the comment section isn’t perfect. But I’m in here every day trying to be reasonable and steer conversations in helpful directions. But you are just complaining about people doing the same thing you are doing which makes zero sense.

          • Willow creek local

            Well since your the one screening all the comments then guess whos resposible Kim? I know it must get frustrating. If there was someone to hold accountable besides you i gladly would. It just seems like it would get so tiresome trying to keep all these internet keyboard cowboy trolls inline. One suggestion i have is changing the platform. I know its a pain but having people put there real name and photograph at peast if they wanna post would be a start. The anonimity of it all really turns it into the gossip rag. What ends up happening is all the good people end up going about there lives after they read the article and all the ridiculous trolls with very little goin on in there lives are the ones that end up posting just so they feel like there “involved”. It ends up being total bs. I feel bad for you in some ways i really do. But as long as you keep it going like it is then your the one held accountable for the trolls platform. Of course your not breaking any of your own websites rules and good for you. I guess it all depends on how you look at things.

            • I used to think that having your name with your comment would help. But then I saw that the Facebook posts are just the same. And, there are valid reasons for anonymity which I would think you would understand as you choose to avail yourself of it.

              I have started deleting more (then, of course, I’m accused of squelching free speech–Please–“You’re an asshole” is not Martin Luther’s Theses)

              But what is going to really make a difference is if people stop being afraid to sign their name all on their own and take responsibility for those things that they really can. Honestly, an opinion on whether a marijuana garden is “too large” can probably have your name on it. So what if the neighbors think you are wrong and say so. Maybe we’ll have a dialogue that helps us as a community understand that what is large in an illegal world is not large compared with the average 400 acre conventional agriculture farm. Or maybe we’ll come to the conclusion that screw the economy of scale, we need to protect our land from monoculture.

              But lashing out at me because I provide a place for people to express their feelings seems counterproductive. Those feelings don’t go away just because you don’t hear them.

    • It’s true, sad but true. It can be saved but the whole community needs to stop being snowflakes and start standing up to the transient criminal element that is rampant. They are not part of our community and do nothing positive.

      • Thank you. Funny how “positive people” must always attack a messenger. And their biggest claim is that you’re “being negative”. No, not negative- just offering an opinion that is alternate to yours! And no- it’s not all good.

    • It’s a farce….
      I am afraid you are right. Sad for the loss of the days when Arcata was a small beautiful, welcoming, friendly, clean town where kids could shop without worry. My friends and I used to go to the bowling alley after school, when we had money for a couple of games, and bowl, then grab a burger or a soda before coming home. My dad used to work at Arcata Redwood Lumber Company, near Sunset, and if I had a dentist appointment after school, I would walk to his work to get a ride home with him afterwards. I don’t know if I would trust that for kids anymore. It’s just sad what things have turned into. Police were there mostly to give tickets or stop fights on nights when bar patrons got a little rowdy. No one got shot. Times have changed.

  • Well shit, jumping out of the car with a gun worked great in GTA5. It also works great in all them Rap songs. Why didn’t it work very well in real life? Hmmmmmmmm.

  • Fake news. Everyone knows the Plaza is a gun free and nuke free zone.

  • Given the situation, the outcome could have been a lot worse. Glad the officer will recover. No sympathy for the dead perp.

  • Wheres chump to call him a lettuce head.

  • Why would any “journalist”use a source who admits to being drunk?

    • Why would anyone who puts “journalist” in quotes when referring to me, use me as a source for news? There are certainly plenty of other very good choices here in our area. May I suggest the Lost Coast Outpost, the Times Standard, or the North Coast Journal–all of which had excellent pieces on this incident.

      However, since you are here, the man reported what he believed he saw. He provided a video, and I provided the reader context so they could decide if they felt the man’s observations were valuable. If you don’t find them valuable, that is certainly your right.

      I would also like you to ask yourself how many witnesses besides the officers were likely to be sober at 1:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning outside the bars on the Arcata Plaza.

  • Kym…
    I think you might have missed some of this one…
    There was a shooting …etc…
    Wasn’t the ensuing mini-riots and turmoil an ungraceful part of the story…???…


  • This should bring to light the double standards between public police officers and campus officers, the laws governing them are differant and really should be highlighted by a reporter. For some reason we have a campus officer shooting people off campus, and while the law allows them to, they have a differant set of rules and a differant reason for being there.

    • Well said!! And now a young campus officer is learning the hard way!

    • Had a friend get arrested for smoking one hits in front of the…campus police station at the Univ. of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. I told him not to light up on campus as they have their own police force but he told me in arrogant fashion that the building was a college dorm. Funny how somebody who didn’t go to college thought they knew. Meanwhile, as he’s getting arrested the cops said to me “you can go” since I was just standing there (cops were such incompetents they missed the blotter he had in his buttpack)! Wound up bailing my friend out of jail later that day since we had tickets to see the Dead that evening and we made it for the first Here Comes Sunshine in many years.

    • Please tell us what those differences are. I thought that also, but am being told they are one in the same, that college campus cops have autonomy everywhere. If you know the rules, please inform me. Not being facetious, am being serious.

  • Doesn’t surprise me it was an HSU policeman who got shot

    Why are the HSU police even allowed as “back up” in the plaza; At that hour there are plenty of arcata policeman on duty, we all know it….there’s just Too many young cops out of their league with lack of experience and discernment trying to make critical time sensitive actions.. And Too many young cops period.

  • Can you clarify for us sheeple Antichrist how the laws governing campus LEOs and city LEOs is different? I was under the impression both types of officers go through the same educational training academies. Is there amutual aid agreement between the agencies? Perhaps that is why the campus officer was there in response to the report of the man displaying a hand gun. Speedy recovery to the officer.

    • Not antichrist by a long shot but seems to me campus cops have the same license to kill as off campus ones.

    • There are many dealing with disclosure and even who controls them, they dont report to an elected official but to the president of the campus , it verys state to state and campus to campus , they claim the same rights as normal officers but use their status to avoid anwering for their actions in many cases, there are several articials avabile from many differant areas on the web, it is a good read to say the least. In one case a judge called for the disbandment of an entire campus police force

  • Campus LEO are police officers, not security guards.

  • Last year a man came at officers aggressively on 14 and G in Arcata.
    He was shot, I don’t know that he died. I know someone who saw that
    How can you respond in time if you are being attacked? It’s a situation
    where you have to make a split second decision. Try it sometime and
    see how well you do.

  • O shit! He wasn’t white! arcata better get ready for another shit show!

  • Y’all always say license to kill then don’t be a criminal or pull a fucking gun on a cop.You fucking people in arcata suck ass.We can do what we want to whom ever,this is what your mentality is in arcata. You stupid fucks.

    • Yeah tell that to the poor lady that went out to meet the officers she called to report a crime, they shot her in the alley way unarmed and in her bed clothes . She was neither armed or a criminal yet she is no longer alive, there is a long list of cases like hers , stories of bully cops shooting people for non compliance or just because they heard a bump in the night. Trouble is these cops keep wanting more and more weapons and they are getting them, yet their rules of engaugement seem to be less restrictive then those we place on our combat troops deployed to war zones, please tell me how it is just or right that a battlefield trooper has to use more self control than a normal cop on our streets ?

      • I totally sgree. They treat the citizens they are sworn to protect like enemies of war. Scary times. Better training is needed to help our officers stop killing people out of fear.

        • Maybe we need to be a little more aggressive toward our criminals and murderers out there and not let them go free on a technicality to carry on their criminal behavior. Too many crooks get off for too many reasons. That should stop. Instead we pass laws like prop 57 and 47 to allow them to keep robbing us.

    • I disagree. That’s not the Arcata mentality–seems more like your standard, run-of-the-mill, criminal mentality to me. Happens almost everywhere last I checked.

      Thank God for first responders and LE or this guy may have shot more than “just” an officer….Arcata Plaza Friday night and all. Wishing you a complete and speedy recovery, Officer Altic!

      • Might not be arcatas mindset but hardly crimminal and easly the mind set of most police departments in this country. And lets please keep this civil i am not a thug, just someone who has a open mind.

  • A slight edit: he was wounded. He wasn’t injured.

    • A very important difference, too, Glenn Franco Simmons! Thanks for your comment, but I don’t see where ‘injured’ was used except when Kym quoted HSU Police Chief Donn Peterson at the end of the article. He did say ‘shot and wounded’ just prior to using ‘injuries’ relevant to Officer Altic’s condition in hospital. (I don’t mean to nitpick just as I’m sure that you were not when you made your comment).

      Just out of curiosity: do you (or any other readers) believe the outcome should have been different if the suspect shot the officer accidentally under the same circumstances?

      • Personaly i feel that if a gun is pointed at you, you shouldnt try pulling yours as likely you wont draw and aim fast enough to shoot before you get shot. Wither or not he intended to shoot the officers or not he was guilty of pulling a gun on them. But it would have been better training to teach people to back down back off and contain . Move bystanders out ans surround the area . If this had been done maybe or not cant second guess because i wasnt there the officer might not have been shot and just maybe this person would be in jail. There is a case that he might not have realised it was police coming towards them and thought it was the persons whom they were fighting with, we will never know. But on the surface it seems cut and dry time will tell though. I am wondering about the other people in the car , what happened to them? 9 shots fired by police, at least they didnt empty thier mags into the car , so shows some restraint.

        • That has to be the dumbest thing I have read all day.

          • Apparently you haven’t been to LoCo’s Thunderdome today, Guest. But serioustly: chiming in to simply “rate” a comment without adding anything to the discussion doesn’t exactly speak well of your own comment.

            • Apologies, no I don’t read loco anymore, it is tactically retarded to turn your back to a shooter, they are trained to contain when it’s a viable option. The second part of the comment I don’t disagree with, but you don’t have that luxury under fire.

              • Thanks for elaborating on your original comment, Guest. I don’t agree with you that A-christ’s comment was ‘dumb,’ but I do very much agree with the points you made. I’m of the opinion that most often during potentially life-threatening crimes in progress, viable options for first responders decrease dramatically. Again: great job to all officers involved and although it’s never going to be perfect: I still respect them for what they do.

        • Thank you for that very well thought-out response, Antichrist. I completely agree with you that it’s really not possible to say how or if it could have had a different outcome. Plus: I’m not entirely familiar with police standard procedures and protocol had the suspect shot the officer without intent. But surely anyone brandishing a gun (especially one just previously engaged in a physical fight as was reported to LE) must be considered a potential threat to safety–and I would guess the laws of reasonable force would apply. Accidental shooting or not: the gun was certainly aimed at the officer and therefor may have necessitated an assumption on the part of law enforcement. I wonder how many officers were present at the vehicle prior to the suspect emerging from it with gun drawn?

          The others in the car actually did the right thing by staying in it. Had the suspect done the same thing, he might well still be alive today. How absolutely ridiculous for him–a several-time convicted felon–to choose to exit the car and aim then fire a weapon which he wasn’t even legally allowed to possess! It wouldn’t surprise me if he had outstanding warrants as he was from Tennessee–so was he even allowed to leave his home state?

          The female who pointed out the vehicle they were all in just after the fight said (to LE) that he seemed ‘under the influence’ of something. He may have seen LE walking towards the car, panicked while realizing he was likely returning to prison, and with clouded judgment: attempted a run for it. Like you said: some things we’ll never know.

          Considering all of the circumstances at the time: seems as though the suspect made the error that lead to his demise. I regret that anyone at all had to be hurt, but still fully believe the responding officers did an excellent job based upon what is now known to be true.

  • He musty have been a white guy. Otherwise, how could they see him at 1:40 AM?

  • If a gun pointed at u, u have every right to shoot an kill its u are them that’s gonna die…..

  • If a gun pointed at u, u have every right to shoot an kill its u are them that’s gonna die….. An u don’t gotta be a cop to live by that.. But that’s Wat I think ..doesn’t mean to be a punk

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