Redwood Valley Woman Identified as Fatality in Officer Involved Shooting Yesterday Near Willits

This is a press release from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. The information has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:

mcso Mendocino County Sheriff's Office MCSOOn 02-13-2018 at 9:25 AM the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office was notified of an armed robbery of a Chevrolet Camaro at Thurston Auto Plaza located at2800 North State Street in Ukiah, California.

The suspect was described as being a white female adult and the Camaro was last seen traveling at a high rate of speed northbound on Highway 101 towards Calpella.

A short time later a Mendocino County Deputy Sheriff saw the Camaro traveling at a high rate of speed northbound on Highway 101 near the CalFire Howard Forest station a few miles south of the city of Willits.

The Deputy Sheriff attempted a traffic stop of the Camaro and a pursuit ensued at speeds over 100 MPH onto the Highway 101 bypass.

Additional Mendocino County Deputy Sheriffs joined the pursuit with assistance from officers from the Willits Police Department.

A short time later the Camaro crashed along the roadside of Highway 101 at Mile Post Marker 49.10 north of the bypass.

A white female adult exited the Camaro while holding a handgun and subsequently confronted the pursuing Deputy Sheriffs and Officers.

A shooting resulted and the white female adult died at the scene. No Deputy Sheriffs or Officers were injured as a result of the shooting.

Investigators from the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office were summoned to the scene and will be the lead investigative agency.

All media inquiries into the incident or investigation are being directed to the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office.

Highway 101 was closed to both directions of traffic to preserve scene evidence and it was expected to remain closed for several hours.


On 02-14-2018 the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Coroner’s Division identified the white female adult as being Dawn Elika Center a 48 year-old female from Redwood Valley, California.

The three Deputy Sheriffs involved in the shooting incident have all be placed on paid administrative leave in accordance with Sheriff’s Office standard procedure, pending the ongoing investigation by the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office.

The three Deputy Sheriffs involved in the shooting incident have been employed at the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office for a total of 30 years, 11 years and 4 years respectively.



  • I still think it was assisted suicide, via police officer!!! Why else would she pile out of the stolen, wrecked vehicle with a firearm in hand???!!!

  • A thought to ponder: a good person who lost everything in that fire? No mention of a prior criminal record.

    • Just because it wasn’t released doesn’t mean she never had one. Draw a gun on an officer and you can expect to be shot. However, I would like to see more of a “shoot to disable” mentality rather than “shoot to kill”, but when your life is in danger and you have a second or two to decide, I can understand it.

      • Shoot to disable so now we have to pay all her medical bills as well as house her in an expensive prison for years and years to come. Maybe this wasn’t such a bad outcome overall. No innocent bystanders or police officers hurt or killed. One less dangerous criminal in our community. Probably won’t serve as much as a deterrent, but there was a time when thieves actually had to worry about their own lives when committing far less crimes than this.

        • parallel universe

          Um, this line of thinking goes under the heading of “soulless.” No,we will not be giving all our tax money to five people and then saving a few dollars by killing the poor and pathetic on the side of the road. Even if we learn she was just a bad person, that’s not how WE are going to behave. Because we are not the bad people. But if we were to follow your logic, then we would be.

          • I think you are really confused if you equate poor and pathetic on the side of the road with someone who committed armed robbery and then fled at very dangerous rates of speed risking the lives of many many innocent people then points gun at the cops. If you ever do such a thing you better be prepared to shoot first or expect to be shot. Anyhow I’ve ben doing a lot of searching and thinking back to anatomy class and still can’t put my finger on the “soul”. maybe you could point me out where exactly it is located. Many thanks.

        • When I say shoot to disable, I don’t mean permanently so. I also recognize that the rapid assessment and decision making that officers must go through before firing their firearm most often doesn’t allow for the time needed to make a shoot to disable decision. Aiming at the chest is a logical decision and ultimately it was the perpetrator’s actions that led to her death.

      • unbridled phillistine

        Hard to claim that you are scared for your life when you shoot to disable as appose to kill?


  • HOGWASH oh I mean Hogranch, you found your caps key again eh???!!!! How about just using it sparingly at least occasionally???!!! No one wants to “HEAR” you SHOUTING, about nothing!!!

  • unfortunately i saw this coming; she had always been an animal lover, she even opened a business called dawnz critter supply…..they say she was bitten by a sugar-glider with rabies.

  • Honeydew Bridge C.H.U.M.P.

    Pointing a weapon at ANYONE, not just a cop, is a bad idea.

  • Outside Investigation Needes

    Once Again; Deputy Eyster will “clean up the crime scene” and clear any of buddy Tom Allman’s deputies from any wrong doing….. Mendocino County needs a protocol where an outside investigation takes over officer involved shootings…… simply having Sheriff Allmans friend, District Attorney Eyster perform the investigation is just the right hand washing the left hand. We need outside investigation that will not whitewash everything our Sheriff Deputies do, including murder. They need to be held to high standards for their actions and choices they make.

  • Yes she done wrong in every aspect, but she was someone child. Praying for her family and officers involved. Sad situation all the way around.

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