Sunday, March 29, 2015

1 dead, 1 hurt in pair of officer-involved shootings

From page A1 | August 19, 2014 |

One man was killed and another wounded in Woodland following officer-involved shootings that occurred just hours apart on Monday. Authorities said both men were armed.

In between the two incidents, protesters took to the streets of Woodland to denounce what they say is an escalation in lethal police force across the country.

Two separate law-enforcement agencies were involved in Monday’s shootings — the California Highway Patrol and the Woodland Police Department, with the Woodland police incident being that agency’s second fatal shooting by an officer in less than three months.

Woodland police Sgt. Brett Hancock said officers were summoned shortly before 6 a.m. to the College Manor Apartments, 411 Elliot St., to investigate reports of a disturbance inside the complex. They arrived to encounter a 53-year-old man on a second-floor landing who allegedly threatened the officers while displaying a knife in his hand.

Despite the officers’ repeated attempts to negotiate with the man and get him to drop the knife, “he charged at one of the officers and forced the officer to shoot,” Hancock said. The man was taken from the scene by ambulance but died en route to the hospital.

His name had not been released as of late this morning pending notification of his family by Yolo County coroner’s officials. He was believed to be a resident of the apartment complex.

According to Hancock, about a half-hour passed between officers’ initial arrival on scene and the shooting. “It looks like they tried to converse with him quite a bit,” he said. Witnesses reported that several shots were fired by the officer.

Monday night, an allegedly armed motorist was shot and wounded by a CHP officer along southbound Interstate 5 between Main Street and County Road 102 in Woodland, that agency reported this morning.

Officer Bryan Konvalin said the as-yet-unidentified driver was spotted at about 11:45 p.m. in a sedan parked on the freeway shoulder along with two motorcyclists, one of whom reported a mechanical problem that was fixed with the officer’s aid.

After the motorcyclists left the scene, the officer turned his attention to the driver, who was showing signs of being under the influence, Konvalin said. The officer called for backup units, but the driver allegedly refused to exit the car for a DUI evaluation.

As two officers attempted to physically remove the man from his car, one of three officers providing cover on the passenger side “saw the driver retrieve a handgun,” Konvalin said. Fearing for his own life and those of his partners, the officer fired a shot into the man’s abdomen. He was airlifted to the UC Davis Medical Center, where information about his condition was not immediately available this morning.

The names of the officers who discharged their weapons, both of whom have been placed on routine administrative leave along with a second Woodland police officer and four other CHP officers, were expected to be released later today. Their actions are being investigated by outside law-enforcement agencies to determine whether they were justified.

Yolo County sheriff’s officials are investigating the CHP incident, while the Davis Police Department is leading the probe of the Woodland police shooting.

The latter incident sparked a protest Monday night at East and Main streets and outside the Woodland police station led by the California Campaign to End Police Terror, which in a news release demanded an independent investigation into the shooting in the wake of the death of Michael Brown, 18, who was fatally shot by Ferguson, Mo., police earlier this month.

“We must as a nation address the issue of law enforcement acting as an occupying army in our communities,” organizer Christina Arechiga, whose cousin Ernest Duenez Jr. was killed by a Manteca police officer in 2011, said in the news release.

The Woodland Police Department incident comes less than three months after a Woodland officer fatally shot 26-year-old Brandon Lee Macias Jimenez, who on May 30 reportedly took a woman hostage and held a gun to her head when police confronted him on Thomas Street.

A Yolo County Sheriff’s Office investigation into that shooting remains in progress, Hancock said Monday.

— Reach Lauren Keene at [email protected] or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene



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