Tribal Family Holds S. Market Street Vigil After Fatal Police-Involved Shooting

Family members hold a vigil for Ken Wilson, who was fatally shot today by Redding Police. Officers say he shot at them while fleeing.

As investigators collected evidence in today’s fatal shooting, about 12 members of the Pit River Tribe held a protest vigil, gathering in lawn chairs and playing American Indian music where their family member was killed by police on South Market Street in Redding.

Kenny Wilson, a Pit River member in his 40s, was shot after reportedly fleeing and firing on Redding Police officers. Wilson led police on a foot chase on Veda Street and across S. Market before he was shot.

Wilson’s cousin Abbie, 20, said the family is protesting the deadly use of force.

“My cousin was very troubled, not always a good person, but he didn’t deserve to die like that,” Abbie Wilson said.

The shooting closed Highway 273 between Cypress Avenue and Buenaventura Boulevard this afternoon after Redding Police tried to arrest Wilson at a friend’s Veda Street home, where family members said he was staying with his girlfriend.

Kenny Ray Wilson, in Shasta County Jail, May 2010

Wilson, 41, had 10 outstanding warrants for his arrest, two of which were for felony armed robbery and attempted armed robbery, Shasta County Sheriff’s Sgt. Dave Kent said in a press release issued tonight. (The release does not name Wilson, saying his family needed to be notified first; Wilson’s family members identified him to A News Cafe.)

Police were actively searching for the man, describing him as “armed and dangerous” and having “an extensive history of violence. The suspect also recently made threats to harm law enforcement,” the release says.

Outside the Veda Street home, officers from Redding Police, Shasta Interagency Narcotics Task Force, California Highway Patrol and Redding Parole surrounded the residence. Kent’s release says they saw Wilson escape from the rear, fleeing officers.

“The subject ran across South Market St. and pulled a handgun from his pants and shot at officers. Four officers fired numerous rounds at the subject and he was struck numerous times. The subject subsequently expired at the scene.

“Officers who were involved in the shooting were not injured. A semi-automatic handgun was recovered from the suspect shooter,” the release says.

At Pop’s 50s Place on South Market, employee Afton Triplett was working the lunch rush with her son, Brian. Brian and others had spotted law enforcement officers “setting up,” he said.

“It looked like a SWAT team was already in place,” Brian Triplett said.”I thought it was a drug bust being set up, before we heard the shots. I saw officers putting on their (body armor) vests. We thought something was up.”

He also saw Wilson during his run from police, he said. Wilson fled east from behind the Family Carpet Center on the corner of Veda and S. Market, then crossed S. Market and headed north on S. Market. He was shot in front of the RABA building, about a block north of Pop’s.

When Afton Triplett heard the shots from inside the restaurant, “all I could think of was getting my little grandkids down on the floor,” she said. She rushed the children, ages 7 and 11, into a back room and low to the ground. She didn’t see much, but heard the shooting, she said: “It was strange, I heard a pop, pop, and then I heard about 30 to 40 shots immediately after.”

Redding Police announced the road closure, due to the shooting and police investigation, about 3:30 p.m. today. By 8:30 p.m., the road had partially reopened, then fully opened by 9:25 p.m.

Earlier in the evening, Wilson’s family members waited tonight for law enforcement officers to admit them to the crime scene, where Abbie Wilson said they plan to hold a cleansing ceremony at the site of Wilson’s shooting. Using water and sometimes smoke, the ritual helps spirits move on to the next place, family members said.

The shooting is the second fatal police-involved shooting this year along S. Market Street. On March 7, a man was killed after a Redding Police officer pulled over a car in a traffic stop; a second officer was also shot. The suspect was later identified as Jose Venavides of Redding, shot by Officer Rebecca (Becky) Zufall, an 11-year veteran with RPD; the officer hurt was Russell Veilleaux, an eight-year veteran with RPD and a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.

Photographs and reporting by Alan Ernesto Philips; story written by Kimberly Ross.

Alan Ernesto Phillips is a proud son of Shasta County, a proud father of two daughters, and a local musician. He is a parenting educator, chemical-dependency counselor, victim-awareness counselor and developmental-asset builder and trainer. He also is a Clio and Telly award-winning filmmaker who produced and directed political campaigns for congressmen, senators, governors and one president (Ronald Reagan). His clients also included Coca-Cola, NIKE, CBS News and NOVA documentaries. He is a current board member and public affairs officer for the Northern California Hispanic Latino Coalition.

A News Cafe, founded in Shasta County by Redding, CA journalist Doni Greenberg, is the place for people craving local Northern California news, commentary, food, arts and entertainment. Views and opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of anewscafe.com.

we say law enf settin gup and it looked lik e a swat team was already in place.
they saw the indiv, kenny, run from behind the family cartpe cetner, on corndr of Veda and S. Market,

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