A Short History Of Fatal Encounters With Shasta County Law Enforcement

Two weeks ago, a Redding Police Department officer shot and killed unarmed Donnell James Lang, 48, in the quiet suburban Hacienda Heights neighborhood where I work.

I get off work at 3:05, so I missed the incident, which occurred about a half hour later when local residents reported that Lang, who lives near the vicinity, was acting suspiciously and carrying a handgun in his waistband.

According to the police report, when confronted by RPD officer Rob Peterson, Lang reluctantly submitted to instructions to lie face down on the ground. But as Peterson attempted to cuff Lang, the suspect tried to stand up and break free. Peterson’s partner, who was standing by with a rifle and believed Lang was armed, shot and killed Lang.

Although several witnesses claimed Lang had a gun, no weapon has been found, despite an extensive search.

The scene was scrubbed clean by the time I arrived at work the next morning. I didn’t find out that a third person had been killed by Shasta County law enforcement officers in 2019 until a co-worker informed me about the incident.

Lang’s death was the fifth fatal encounter between a citizen and Shasta County law enforcement officials in the past eight months.

Last August, a white male transient wielding a knife and obstructing traffic was shot dead by four Redding Police officers wielding guns. Another white male was shot and killed after allegedly stealing a car in December. In January, a shoot-out with police resulted in the death of a Pacific Islander/Asian man accused of domestic violence. In March, an alleged drunk driver with a gun was fatally shot in a backyard after fleeing arrest. And now Lang.

If it seems like there’s been a lot more fatal encounters between members of the public and Shasta County law enforcement officers lately, that’s because Shasta County is on a record-setting pace.

In 2014, four citizens were killed by Shasta County law enforcement officials, the highest total in the past two decades. Just one person was killed in 2015, but local police killed three citizens in both 2016 and 2017. Two people were killed in 2018. And three so far this year.

Nationally, more than 1,000 people are killed in fatal encounters with law enforcement officials annually. But while the FBI collects detailed data on violent crimes such as rape and murder, it doesn’t keep close tabs on deaths caused by police officers. In fact, until relatively recently, no comprehensive database tracking fatal encounters with law enforcement officers in the United States existed.

My friend and colleague D. Brian Burghart, an award-winning lifelong journalist, has done much to turn this state of affairs around.

Five years ago, perplexed by the lack of a comprehensive national database on deaths caused by police, Burghart decided to create his own. Thus, the Fatal Encounters project was born, with the goal of cataloging every fatal encounter with law enforcement in the United States since the year 2000.

Full disclosure, I worked as a paid researcher for Fatal Encounters during its early days, sifting the internet state-by-state for fatal incidents involving police. It was grim work. After 100 or so cases, it becomes clear that police officers have the toughest job in the United States, and are often called upon to handle problems society can’t or hasn’t been willing to solve, such as mental illness and drug abuse.

In 2017, Burghart and crew succeeded in cataloging most, if not all of the fatal encounters between citizens and law enforcement since 2000. Fatal Encounters adds new incidents as they occur. Today, nearly 25,000 fatal encounters are listed on the nonprofit website, which is supported by private donations.

Thirty-five of those fatal encounters since 2000 occurred in Shasta County. According to data culled from the website, Shasta County is ranked No. 2 in the state for fatal police encounters per capita, behind only Tulare County.

Below you’ll find the 35 fatal encounters between law enforcement and citizens that have occurred in Shasta County since 2000, listed chronologically from earliest to latest. I’ve cross-checked each case with local news reports, and in some incidents I’ve added any new information that has become available to the summary description.

In general, you’ll find that the majority of the people killed by police in Shasta County were white, though race is not disclosed in some cases. Roughly one third of those killed were suffering from some sort of mental illness. More than half were known criminals armed with a firearm or a knife. There was only one female death, a suicide while in police custody.

Not all the incidents are shootings. In some cases, the victim succumbed to injuries received during apprehension. In others, the death results from a car chase.

Whether any of these deaths could have been prevented is up to the reader to decide.

Name withheld by police
53, Male, Race unspecified
Date of Injury Resulting in Death: 7/1/2000
Location: Whistling Drive, Redding, CA 96003
Cause of Death: Drug overdose
Agency: Redding Police Department
Summary Description: Police responded to a call from a wife reporting her husband was mentally distressed and armed at a house on Whistling Drive in Redding. At some point during a three-hour standoff, the man died of a drug overdose, while still holding a handgun.

Raymond Sisneros
31, Male, European-American/White
Date of Injury Resulting in Death: 12/19/2002
Location: 900 Dana Dr., Redding, CA 96003
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Agency: Redding Police Department
Summary Description: Officer Charlie Travelstead, three days from retirement, shot Raymond Sisneros outside the Rusty Nail after Sisneros shot at three people, wounding one of them.

Pablo Valladares Gomez

20s, Male, Hispanic/Latino
Date of Injury Resulting in Death: 9/16/2003
Location: , Shingletown, CA 96059
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Agency: Redding Police Department
Summary Description: Officers Eric Wallace, Jeff Wallace and David Schultz shot and killed Mexican nationals Raul Chavez Rivera and Pablo Valladares Gomez, who allegedly fired at police during a multi-agency marijuana garden raid near Manton.

Raul Chavez Rivera
20s, Male, Hispanic/Latino
Date of Injury Resulting in Death: 9/16/2003
Location: , Shingletown, CA 96059
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Agency: Redding Police Department
Summary Description: Officers Eric Wallace, Jeff Wallace and David Schultz shot and killed Mexican nationals Raul Chavez Rivera and Pablo Valladares Gomez, who allegedly fired at police during a multi-agency marijuana garden raid near Manton.

Tim Torchia
36, Male, European-American/White
Date of Injury Resulting in Death: 9/16/2003
Location: Akard Avenue, Redding, CA 96001
County or Parish: Shasta
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Agency: Redding Police Department
Summary Description: Torchia was riding his bike late at night dressed in dark clothing. RPD officer Chris Jacoby attempted to stop Torchia, who attempted to flee on his bike. Torchia abandoned the bike and began banging on doors seeking shelter. Jacoby stated that Torchia had what looked like a holster and was reaching for his waistband, so Jacoby shot him four or five times. No weapon or holster was found.

Timothy Alan Brandon
40, Male, Race unspecified
Date of Injury Resulting in Death: 3/18/2004
Location: Sacramento Drive, Redding, CA 96001
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Agency: Redding Police Department
Summary Description: RPD responded to a report that Brandon was armed and suicidal. Three RPD officers, Walt Bullington, Eric Little and present RPD chief Roger Moore, shot and killed Brandon outside his home when he waved a 9 mm handgun at the officers and refused to drop it. In 2007, the city of Redding settled a wrongful death suit brought by Brandon’s children for $90,000.

Curtis C. Dring Jr.
56, Male, Race unspecified
Date of Injury Resulting in Death: 4/18/2004
Location: 1200 – 1400 block North Blvd., Shasta Lake, CA 96019
Cause of Death: Beaten/Bludgeoned with instrument
Agency: Shasta County Sheriff’s Office, Union Pacific Railroad Police
Summary Description: Dring, who was believed to be a danger to himself, died after a struggle with Sgt. Mark Von Rader, Deputy Suzanne “Bille” Cobb and Union Pacific Railroad inspector Randy Anderson near the railroad tracks. Dring was beaten with batons during the incident and died later at Redding Medical Center.

Khamhane Philapandeth

Khamhane Philapandeth
23, Male, Asian/Pacific Islander
Date of Injury Resulting in Death: 5/18/2004
Location: 2100 Redding Rancheria Rd., Redding, CA 96001
Cause of Death: Asphyxiated/Restrained
Agency: Shasta County Sheriff’s Office
Summary Description: Khamhane Philapandeth died in custody during a confrontation with deputy Gregory Dean. Philapandeth was thrown to the ground, pinned to the floor, pepper-sprayed, struck with the pepper spray canister and had his legs bent up against his back for several minutes. Dean, who either quit or was forced to resign from the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office immediately after the incident, was convicted of assault and served four months in jail. Philapandeth’s family received $390,000 from Shasta County in a wrongful death lawsuit in 2005.

Linda Lee Wood
54, Female, Race unspecified
Date of Injury Resulting in Death: 12/16/2004
County or Parish: Shasta
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Agency: Redding Police Department
Summary Description: Linda Lee Wood, the wife of a prominent Redding businessman, killed herself after officer Eric Little and investigator Robert Wilson came to her home to arrest her on charges of embezzlement. The officers permitted Wood to go upstairs to change clothes, where, out of sight of the officers, she shot herself with a handgun.

Nathaniel Bryan Tipp
18, Male, Race unspecified
Date of Injury Resulting in Death: 4/3/2005
Location: Creekside St. and Girvan Rd., Redding, CA 96001
Cause of Death: Vehicle
Agency: Redding Police Department
Summary Description: Nathaniel Bryan Tipp was killed when he crashed into an electrical box and a fire hydrant on Girvan Road after a brief police chase.

Brandon Michael Reuter
20, Male, European-American/White
Date of Injury Resulting in Death: 12/7/2009
Location: 570 Cypress Ave, Redding, CA 96001
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Agency: Redding Police Department
Summary Description: Reuter, an honor student with no previous criminal history, allegedly robbed Plumas bank and fled on foot. Officers cornered the suspect, and released a police dog. Reuter allegedly threatened the dog with a BB gun that looked like a 9mm, and officers shot the suspect. The official inquiry determined that 46 rounds were shot by the officers, 14 of which struck the suspect. Reuter’s mother contacted police a month before the incident because her son was depressed and suicidal. He received a 72-hour mental health evaluation and was released.

Gregorio Arguetta Estrada
47, Male, Hispanic/Latino
Date of Injury Resulting in Death: 12/15/2009
Location: 37131 Main St., Burney, CA 96013
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Agency: Shasta County Sheriff’s Office
Summary Description: SWAT team deputy Jason Gassaway and Detective Troy Clegg shot and killed Gregorio Arguetta Estrada, who reportedly fired at officers after he’d shot two bank customers and held tellers hostage for three hours in a Main Street bank.

Jose Venavides

Jose Venavides
54, Male, Hispanic/Latino
Date of Injury Resulting in Death: 3/7/2011
Location: S. Market Street and Elmwood Street, Redding, CA 96001
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Agency: Redding Police Department
Summary Description: During a traffic stop, Venavides allegedly shot an officer in the arm with a .45 caliber handgun. The injured officer’s partner then shot the suspect in the head four times. Venavides, a Redding resident, had a criminal history including assault and drug charges dating to 1994.

Kenny Ray Wilson

Kenny Ray Wilson
41, Male, Native American/Alaskan
Date of Injury Resulting in Death: 8/4/2011
Location: 3101 South Market Street, Redding, CA 96001
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Agency: Redding Police Department
Summary Description: Wilson was wanted for multiple counts of armed robbery. Police went to a house he was believed to be staying at and attempted to serve a warrant. Ray fled, pulled a gun and began firing at pursuing officers. The officers returned fire, killing Wilson.

James Thomas Jobe
26, Male, European-American/White
Date of Injury Resulting in Death: 10/25/2011
Location: I-5 and Oasis Road, Redding, CA 96003
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Agency: Shasta County Sheriff’s Office
Summary Description: Sergeant Troy Clegg shot James Thomas Jobe in the head after he tried to take deputy Justin Reynolds’ service weapon and hit him in the head with a baton on the side of the highway. Jobe was a convicted felon with a history of methamphetamine possession and weapons charges.

Scott Joseph Deen
19, Male, European-American/White
Date of Injury Resulting in Death: 6/22/2012
Location: Canyon Rd & Valley View Rd, Redding, CA 96007
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Agency: Redding Police Department
Summary Description: Law enforcement investigators say Deen and two other men were siphoning gasoline from cars parked in the neighborhood off Highway 273 near Win-River Casino. Three RPD officers, Jon Poletski, Jared Herbert and Robert Garnero, used a stun gun at least twice on Deen after he came at them with a knife, according to the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office, which handled the investigation into the shooting. Not fazed by the stun gun, Deen tried to stab an officer with a knife that was attached to his hand with an elastic bandage before Poletski fired two rounds, striking Deen once.

Scott Everett Wininger

Scott Everett Wininger
44, Male, European-American/White
Date of Injury Resulting in Death: 10/5/2012
Location: 2605 Lake Redding Drive, Redding, CA 96003
Cause of Death: Tasered
Agency: Redding Police Department
Summary Description: Scott Everett Wininger reportedly went into cardiac arrest and stopped breathing after he was tasered during an altercation with officers Justin Duval and Jared Hebert the evening of October 3. He died two days later in the hospital. An autopsy concluded that the toxic levels of methamphetamine in Wininger’s blood may have contributed to his death.

John Sebastian Snider
38, Male, European-American/White
Date of Injury Resulting in Death: 7/17/2013
Location: 3200 block Briarwood Drive, Anderson, CA 96007
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Agency: Shasta County Sheriff’s Office
Summary Description: Anderson Police responding to a domestic abuse complaint encountered Snider, who was armed with a handgun and a shogun, at his apartment in Happy Valley. Snider refused to come out and opened fire with the shotgun as seven Shasta County SWAT members approached the apartment. The seven team members returned fire, killing Snider. Shasta County Sheriff’s Office SWAT members included Sgt. James Beaupre, Det. David Eoff, deputy Cary Erickson, deputy Tom Fleming, Sgt. Eric Magrini, Det. Gene Randall and Det. Nick Thompson were involved in the incident.

Casey Crye
33, Male, European-American/White
Date of Injury Resulting in Death: 8/28/2013
Location: 8910 Maynard Rd, Palo Cedro, CA 96073
Cause of Death: Vehicle
Agency: Shasta County Sheriff’s Office
Summary Description: Casey Crye, 33, was allegedly speeding on his motorcycle and refused to pull over for a Sacramento Sheriff’s Office deputy. As he was fleeing, he lost control of the motorcycle and crashed through a white picket fence. He succumbed to the injuries from the crash.

Steven Anthony Motley

Steven Anthony Motley
33, Male, European-American/White
Date of Injury Resulting in Death: 10/5/2013
Location: 4600 block Alta Saga Drive, Redding, CA 96001
Cause of Death: Cardiac arrest after severe beating
Agency: Redding Police Department
Summary Description: Redding police were chasing Motley, who was allegedly driving a stolen pickup. He crashed, got out on foot, circled around and stole a Redding police cruiser. Five police officers eventually found him in a backyard and severely beat Motley with batons in addition to tasing him. Then they noticed Motley wasn’t breathing. He died three days later. Motley’s family filed a wrongful death suit against the city of Redding. The five officers involved in the incident were cleared of any wrongdoing by then District Attorney Steven Carlton. The coroner found methamphetamine abuse make have contributed to Motley’s death by cardiac arrest.

Darryl Brice Cunningham
48, Male, African-American/Black
Date of Injury Resulting in Death: 3/29/2014
Location: 900 S Market Street, Redding, CA 96001
Cause of Death: Drowned
Agency: Redding Police Department
Summary Description: Cunningham was fleeing on foot from police who were attempting to serve him with a warrant for alleged domestic violence. He jumped off the Market Street Bridge into the Sacramento river to avoid arrest and drowned. His body was found two weeks later.

Ray Dakota Scholfield
23, Male, Native American/Alaskan
Date of Injury Resulting in Death: 6/20/2014
Location: 1616 Willis Street, Redding, CA 96001
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Agency: Redding Police Department
Summary Description: Scholfield stabbed his cousin, Christen Allenclark, with a butcher knife, killing her in her residence. Three Redding police officers confronted him in the front yard of the home. Scholfield brandished the knife and refused police orders. The three officers shot him and he died at the scene.

Matthew Robinson
33, Male, European-American/White
Date of Injury Resulting in Death: 7/27/2014
Location: 2750 Eureka Way, Redding, CA 96001
Cause of Death: Medical emergency
Agency: Redding Police Department
Summary Description: Robinson was being transported to Restpadd Psychiatric in Redding, CA. Law enforcement was called to assist. Upon removal from the transport vehicle, he punched an officer in the face. He was then taken to the ground where he continued to resist until other officers could help take him into custody. A short time later, officers recognized he was not breathing. Officers attempted CPR before he was transported to Mercy Medical Center, where he died one week later. Robinson’s parents filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the RPD, seeking $20 million in damages.

Erik Charles Lebak
32, Male, European-American/White
Date of Injury Resulting in Death: 8/28/2014
Location: 28000 Fig Tree Lane, Redding, CA 96002
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Agency: Redding Police Department
Summary Description: Lebak, the son of a retired RPD captain, posted several suicidal messages on social media and two Shasta County Sheriff officers responded to his address. Lebak was armed with a handgun and a shotgun and allegedly shot at the officers. The two Shasta County Sheriff officers, Sgt. Rob Sandbloom and Deputy Gerry Maul, returned fire, killing Lebak.

Tim Kyle Torngren
55, Male, European-American/White
Date of Injury Resulting in Death: 9/22/2015
Location: 6720 Odessa Way, Anderson, CA 96007
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Agency: Shasta County Sheriff’s Office
Summary Description: The deputies were called out to the home to check on Torngren after he sent suicidal letters to his daughter. Initial reports indicate Torngren was outside his home with a long gun and a handgun, which he pointed in the air. He was shot and killed. The Shasta County District Attorney found that self-defense justified the deputies’ actions.

Stephen John Bukwich

Stephen John Bukwich
52, Male, European-American/White
Date of Injury Resulting in Death: 1/5/2016
Location: 273 Boulder Creek Road, Redding, CA 96003
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Agency: Redding Police Department
Summary Description: Redding police officers responded to multiple calls that said 6-8 gunshots had been fired at an apartment complex. Officers arrived and found Stephen John Bukwich, 52, inside apartment #A. Officers spoke with Bukwich via a patrol car PA system. Police said Bukwich would open the door to the apartment briefly and yell at officers. Police said that witnesses told them he was upset about recent legislation regarding gun laws passed by President Barack Obama. Officials said Bukwich was not cooperative when asked to come out of his apartment with his hands up. Less lethal methods were attempted, but eventually nine officers fired at Bukwich with handguns and rifles, striking him multiple times and killing him. Bukwich had a long history of mental illness related to a thyroid condition.

Edmund Charles Leighty Sr.
56, Male, European-American/White
Date of Injury Resulting in Death: 11/16/2016
Location: 2779 Reservoir Ln, Redding, CA 96002
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Agency: Redding Police Department
Summary Description: Officers were called to an apartment complex, after Redding police received reports of a disturbance involving a man armed with a rifle and handgun. Leighty, allegedly armed with a pistol and rifle, refused to leave the apartment, which wasn’t his home. About 15 minutes later, four officers shot the man after he allegedly refused to follow officers’ commands to drop his gun.

Name withheld by police
Male, Race unspecified
Date of Injury Resulting in Death: 11/26/2016
Location: 1800 block Gold Hills Drive, Redding, CA 96003
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Agency: Redding Police Department
Summary Description: Redding Police officers tried to pull over a car after reports of a suspicious person driving in the neighborhood. The driver parked in a residential driveway. As police approached the driver, multiple shots were fired from inside the car. The driver then got out of the car, laid down on the ground and shot and killed himself.

Christopher Delano Rosa
23, Male, European-American/White
Date of Injury Resulting in Death: 3/19/2017
Location: 400 block Country Oak Drive, Redding, CA 96003
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Agency: California Highway Patrol
Summary Description: An off-duty California Highway Patrol officer shot and killed an unarmed intruder, police said. The Shasta County District Attorney determined the shooting was justifiable self defense.

Edward Paul Parinella
53, Male, European-American/White
Date of Injury Resulting in Death: 3/26/2017
Location: 2861 McMurray Dr, Anderson, CA 96007
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Agency: Anderson Police Department
Summary Description: According to police, an officer was investigating a stolen vehicle at the Motel 6 on McMurray Drive when he exchanged gunfire with an alleged suspect, Edward Paul Parinella, who was staying at the motel. Officers Tyler Finch, David Starkey and Tyler Spurgeon also fired their guns, but all four Anderson Police officers were absolved of responsibility in the killing by an RPD investigation.

Vernchoy Saechao

Vernchoy Saechao
22, Male, Asian/Pacific Islander
Date of Injury Resulting in Death: 12/8/2017
Location: 2604 Wilson Ave, Redding, CA 96002
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Agency: Redding Police Department
Summary Description: Police said they encountered Vernchoy Saechao while investigating a domestic disturbance call reported just after 2 a.m. Saechao, police said, fired a handgun at an officer before the officer shot and killed him. The Shasta County District Attorney determined the shooting was justified.

Eric Jay Hames

Eric Jay Hames
34, Male, European-American/White
Date of Injury Resulting in Death: 8/27/2018
Location: 916 E Cypress Ave, Redding, CA 96002
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Agency: Redding Police Department
Summary Description: Around 7:50 a.m., Eric Hames, a local transient, had been blocking traffic, shouting obscenities at passers-by and threatening motorists near an intersection. Four officers confronted and then shot and killed Hames when he allegedly threatened them with a knife.

Benjamin David Larson

Benjamin David Larson
42, Male, European-American/White
Date of Injury Resulting in Death: 12/6/2018
Location: I-5 & Knighton Road, Pacheco, CA 96002
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Agency: Redding Police Department
Summary Description: Benjamin David Larson was shot and killed when he allegedly fired at officers after leading them on a vehicle chase on Interstate 5. The shooting was the culmination of a chase that began in Redding shortly before 5:30 a.m. when a Redding police officer saw a Honda Civic that may have been stolen. Larson was scheduled to go on trial the week after he died for his alleged role in the widely publicized theft of a van containing valuable show dogs in June.

Phayvanh Inthavong
32, Male, Asian/Pacific Islander
Date of Injury Resulting in Death: 2/11/2019
Location: Arizona St and Churn Creek Rd, Redding, CA 96002
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Agency: Redding Police Department
Summary Description: Police received a 9-1-1 call about a man who was possibly armed with a handgun and acting erratically. When police arrived, Inthavong saw them and began running through the neighborhood. Police said he ran through several yards and then broke into an occupied home. The police spotted Inthavong through the home’s window, pacing and holding a small caliber handgun. Police called on Inthavong to surrender, but he then came out of the home and pointed the handgun in their direction. The officers opened fire and he was killed.

Brandon Starr Robinson
34, Male, Race unspecified
Date of Injury Resulting in Death: 3/10/2019
Location: 2900 block E Rockabye Lane, Redding, CA 96002
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Agency: California Highway Patrol
Summary Description: Following a DUI stop and chase in which Robinson allegedly fired shots at pursuing CHP officers, officers from multiple departments cornered the suspect in a backyard. Robinson allegedly pointed a gun at police and was shot and killed.

Donnell James Lang

48, Male, race unspecified
Date of injury resulting in death: 4/2/2019
Location: 2100 Hemingway Street
Cause of death: Gunshot
Agency: Redding Police Department
Summary description: At 3:38 p.m., two Redding Police Department officers responded to the vicinity of Hemingway Street and Shasta View Drive after a resident reported Lang was walking in the street, acting strangely and carrying a handgun. After they located Lang, RPD Cpl. Rob Peterson commanded Lang to lie down on the ground. Lang complied, but while Peterson was attempting to cuff the suspect, Lang attempted to escape the hold. Peterson’s partner shot Lang several times with his service rifle. Lang was pronounced dead at the scene. Although

R.V. Scheide
R.V. Scheide has been a northern California journalist for more than 20 years. He appreciates your comments and story ideas. He can be emailed at RVScheide@anewscafe.com.
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79 Responses

  1. Avatar Tim says:

    A short history of fatal events for area law enforcement:

    Leonard Estes
    End of watch: July 26, 2001
    Cause of death: gunfire sustained while coming to aid of Deputy Hunter. Lieutenant Estes managed to fatally wound the perpetrator before his service weapon was struck by return fire and rendered inoperable.

    William Hunter
    End of watch: July 26, 2001
    Cause of death: gunfire sustained investigating to a neighbor dispute

    David Mobilio
    End of watch: November 19, 2002
    Cause of death: gunfire sustained during ambush while refueling

    Robert Coulter
    End of watch: November 2, 2003
    Cause of death: Negligent discharge while stowing firearm in cruiser

    Bryan Zollner
    End of watch: April 12, 2007
    Cause of death: Automobile crash on icy section of highway 44

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Nice sidebar. Thanks Tim. For those keeping score, it’s 35 to 5.

      • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

        A sidebar to the sidebar: None of those deaths were in Shasta County. The first two were in Butte County, the third in Tehama County, the fourth in Trinity County, and the fifth in Lassen County. The fourth and fifth weren’t related to criminal activity, and the fifth was a fire chief, not a LE officer.

        I’m a little puzzled as to the reasoning. Is it to demonstrate that LE is an extremely dangerous profession?

        Professions that are more dangerous than LE (fatalities per 100k workers): Logger, commercial fisher, airplane pilot, roofer, refuse collector, iron/steel worker, truck driver, farmer, construction worker, ag worker, grounds maintenance worker, and mechanic/assembler.

        • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

          Thanks Steve I was in a hurry and didn’t see Tim pulled a trick on me by switching out Shasta County with area. So I guess the score is 35 to 0.

        • Avatar Tim says:

          Chief Zollner was sworn peace officer for Cal Fire. And Shasta County has had its share of line of duty deaths – just not in your time frame (small sample size). The national average is roughly 10 civilian deaths for every LODD.

  2. Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

    I relay this story to show the difference in Redding past and what I read now. Maybe it will show how out of touch I am with present day Redding. As the RPD officer has retired and left the area I will name him.
    In the late 1980’s I played on the RPD softball team in Anderson, I lived just up the street so I was available if they needed a player. While the majority of players were RPD, there were Firemen and SC deputies plus three of us from the private sector. After the game we would sit in the parking lot and have a few beers, I suspect this was why they played in Anderson and not Redding. I listened to the tales told by these officers. Some were comedic, others tragic, but one tale stood out among all the others that I will always remember.
    A RPD officer received a call about an armed man in Caldwell Park. It was after dark when the officer responded, he had his gun drawn as he walked down a dark path. Suddenly a man leaped out of the bushes with a gun pointed at the officer. Instantly, in the dark, the officer had to make a decision and he did not fire his gun. It turned out the man was a teenager with a laser pistol.
    If I am quick to defend LE in Shasta County, this is why. My friendship with past LE in Shasta County seems out of touch in the area now.
    And the officer who told what happened was Pete Hansen.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      This is the same argument family members of people killed by police officers make for their loved ones, even if the loved one was a heinous criminal.

      • Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

        ?

        • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

          I misunderstood the point of your comment. I don’t think the relationship between police and the community is all that much different than when you lived here. You have fond memories of them, just as friends and family members of heinous criminals killed by the police have fond memories of them.

          It’s interesting that the story that stood out to you was the policeman who showed restraint when using his weapon. Are officers showing less restraint now? I don’t know the answer to that question.

          • Avatar Tim says:

            There have been a few studies into officer restraint. Most officers will have had situations throughout their career where they could be justified in using deadly force, yet ~95% of officers never fire.

            But those that do end up having to fire often regret not having firing sooner in that encounter and subsequently tend to not give future suspects the same benefit of the doubt. An officer with 1 OIS is 3x as likely to have another.

            Another tidbit: 70% of officers with an OIS leave the force within 5 years.

          • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

            One of the paradoxes/conundrums that come out of being a society neck-deep in guns: A LE officer who encounter me for ANY cause has to assume that I’m carrying. Does this make me safer?

            Maybe it doesn’t affect me all that much. I’m white, after all. I’m not Philandro Castile.

            Tim sez: “Most officers will have had situations throughout their career where they could be justified in using deadly force, yet ~95% of officers never fire.”

            “…could be justified in using deadly force, yet ~95% never do.” This strike anyone else as self-canceling logic?

          • Avatar Tim says:

            Self-canceling logic? Not at all. An example is when a suicidal subject points a gun toward officers. Many officers will hesitate to shoot, yet that is one of the most dangerous calls to take:

            Sgt Steve Hinkle (EOW 2/26/19) killed by suicidal suspect.
            Det Bill Brewer (EOW 2/2/19) killed by suicidal suspect.
            Tpr Nicholas Clark (EOW 7/2/18) killed by suicidal suspect

            Locally, there was a suicidal fellow by Shasta College’s Red Bluff campus last year who kept begging police to shoot him while escalating threatening gestures. This went on for 45 minutes, during which time officers showed incredible restraint as he waved his rifle around while talking to the negotiator. Eventually he brought up the rifle to aim at a sergeant, who then fired.

          • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

            Easily one-third of the deaths on this list could be characterized as suicide-by-cop, perhaps more.

          • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

            Tim — So you’re arguing the other 95% should be shooting, too?

            It amuses me that this is the area where we flip spots politically. I’ve told you before that I’m against the death penalty because I don’t think government is competent to justly carry it out, and taking a citizen’s life is the ultimate government revocation of the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

            You’ve countered that you’re consoled that the unjustly executed have at least been afforded due process. (All you poor people, roll your eyes!!!) In cases where cops kill citizens, there’s no due process at all, but you *still* want to err on the side of authoritarianism.

            It’s a jarring disconnect, but at least you’re…..uh…..complicated.

          • Avatar Tim says:

            No, I’m saying most officers go out of their way to avoid an OIS until they are forced into one, after which they are 3x as likely to have another (if they remain on the force).

            As far as due process, I don’t have much sympathy for people who don’t “freeze” or “drop the weapon” when confronted. That obviously isn’t the time to mount your appeal. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes…

          • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

            It’s hard to drop your weapon when you don’t have one.

            Again, I have sympathy for cops who assume that over held object they see is a gun, because there are so many goddamned guns out there. They *have* to think that way for their own good.

            What I’m saying about OISs is that if 95% of officers show restraint throughout their careers and the other 5% are 3x as likely to be involved in multiple OISs, there might be something wrong…..something very wrooooongg….with many among that 5%. I think police departments go way too far in defending that 5%, no matter the circumstances.

  3. Avatar Patricia Barrett says:

    Impressive research into a subject that should be getting more attention.

    The higher local rate of deadly force by police might be at least partly attributable to tacit acceptance by a predominantly right-wing populace (in an area that has historically sent more local criminals to prison – and with longer sentences – than other parts of the state), and to Redding’s relative geographic isolation.

    In many ways the Redding area is like a little piece of Texas – a parallelism that is not to its credit.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Thank D. Brian Burghart for the research hes doing awesome work.

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      Don’t you ever get tired of blaming everything on right wingers?

      • Barbara Rice Barbara Rice says:

        Jeez, Doug, I’ve barely had time to have a cup of coffee and already I fear I am viewing how the day will go here.

        For someone who accused the same person of constantly arguing with you, you seem to find it necessary to instigate more arguing, rather than let a subject die of its own accord.

        FYI: you’re barely skirting around ANC’s forum rules. Don’t apologize or point fingers at other people. Stick to discussing ideas, not the people presenting their ideas.

      • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

        Doug — We have the second-highest rate of fatal police encounters per capita in the state….R.V. presented that as a fact. I suggested that fact should be cause for some reflection at the very least. That self-examination would entail coming up with some potential causal factors that would account for our unusually high ranking.

        Patricia’s idea that it’s cultural—that we tolerate it because the local populace leans conservative authoritarian—may not be the sole reason, but it’s hardly crazy-talk. If you’re a member of your FB crime watch group or the Nextdoor app, every reported crime elicits many “git-a-rope” responses such as: “Sounds like a 2nd Amendment solution is needed.”

        Rather than just play the knee-jerk contrarian, you might instead contribute by coming up with an alternative hypothesis or two that might explain our state ranking.

  4. Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

    “…Shasta County is ranked No. 2 in the state for fatal police encounters per capita, behind only Tulare County.”

    Whenever your community is this far out on the fringe of a distribution like this, it’s time for a little reflection.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Possibly, but I also noticed that most of the top 10 is rural counties with with less deaths than urban areas but also with less population. I’m not sure how that factors into the equation. I would humbly suggest that the increase in rate of killing, which has increased since 2010 compared to the previous decade, is cause for some concern.

  5. Avatar Robert Scheide Sr. says:

    I suspect a lack of proper training on when to shoot. I have read that a lot of cops are oriented towards the right wing today which is probably way different than olden days. The world seemed a lot less cruel in the ’50s and ’60s. The cops face a well-armed adversary gunned up at least as good as the cops and sometimes the cops are outgunned.

    The only cure as I see it is more and better training, better selection of troops and to stop letting them off at trial on obvious bad shootings.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Unfortunately Dad we don’t have any good statistics from the old days to compare to the new days. I’m no expert on it, but I understand the use of force rules have changed since then, to favor force. Better training is key, no doubt, especially the protocols for dealing with mentally ill people.

  6. Avatar Candace C says:

    I’m a white woman and grew up here in Redding. I do not feel “safer” around local law enforcement; instead I feel intimidated. I’ve had no specific bad experiences with them it’s just a general feeling I have when around them. My daughter’s Pakistani boyfriend and my niece’s boyfriend did not come here for Thanksgiving last year because they did not feel safe which made me very sad. Both are lovely, law abiding young men but didn’t feel safe in this county.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      I’m a white dude, but I understand why any person of color might feel unsafe in Shasta County. There’s a vibe here, and a surprising number of people are comfortable throwing the n-word and other racial epithets around in public.

      • Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

        Shasta County has not reached the level of Phoenix. Phoenix, because of multiple police shootings involving minorities has been listed on some travel sites as dangerous for people of color to visit.
        Redding was once a quiet, yes red neck area, where politics amounted to small town squabbles. Redding didn’t change, the real world devoured it. The reasons for that are multiple and debated often on here.

  7. Avatar Candace C says:

    *p.s. …my niece’s black boyfriend

  8. Avatar Candace C says:

    R.V. I have an elderly neighbor who uses terms like “towel heads” and calls my other mixed race couple “salt and pepper”. I’ve heard from other neighbors that he also tosses around the “n”word. He said the towel head comment and salt/pepper (sneers as he says it) in front of me once to which I replied “I’m not ok with the language you’re using and I don’t want to hear it so please don’t ever use it around me again.” He stopped, but I’m not so naive as to think he doesn’t use it around others and I’m sure they’re not the only racial slurs he and his wife use. Yes, it was awkward at first to say it and I thought to myself “why is that?”. So, shame on me, I will no longer stay silently disgusted because it’s “uncomfortable” to confront people when I hear that kind of speech from anyone, friend, family or neighbor. Oh, and this particular neighbor? His front lawn is proudly adorned with a large American flag. I guess for him America only comes in one color.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Yeah, I hear the same kind of stuff hanging out in bars around these parts. There are some places we don’t go because of it.

      • Avatar Anita Brady says:

        I had to chide two old white guys in Joe’s Giant Orange one morning to “watch their racist language in public”….. you don’t need to go to bars….

        And they were in a Hispanic-American’s business at the time of their filthy spew!

  9. Avatar Candace C says:

    R.V. * mixed race couple – neighbors

  10. Avatar Kathryn McDonald says:

    One of my former neighbors who is black told me that when he came to Redding for an interview for a professional position, he and his wife were pulled over and the officers approached their car with guns drawn, apparently because they were in an expensive car. They were terrified. After they moved here, they were frequently stopped. The racist behavior stopped only after his employer complained to the chief.

  11. Avatar Candace C says:

    Tim, difficult to “drop a weapon” if you’re perceived as carrying a weapon but don’t actually have one. Pretty sure if you asked the family of a non-white victim of an unjustified police shooting they’d tell you that the “game” you refer to has different “prizes” for different people.

    • Avatar Tim says:

      That may be their perception, but the stats repeatedly show officers are no more likely to shoot POC than anyone else they stop (in fact, white officers are consistently *less likely* to shoot a black suspect than a white one). The discrepancy stems from the fact POC are stopped much more often by police than whites.

      The single biggest predictor of being shot by police? Being male. But no one calls cops sexist – at least not against men…

      There are lots of other nuances involved. When it comes to unarmed individuals being shot by police, one of the largest factors is “dispatch priming” (e.g. when dispatchers tell officers to expect an armed suspect, officers are much more likely to shoot suspects holding things like cell phones). The racial biases implicit in dispatch priming often come from the reporting party – not police.

      • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

        Tim sez: “The discrepancy stems from the fact POC are stopped much more often by police than whites.”

        The offense of “Driving While Black”? Yeah, that makes it okay.

        “The racial biases implicit in dispatch priming often come from the reporting party – not police.”

        First of all, source? Second, even if that’s true to *some* degree (the word “often” isn’t defined), so what?

        I’m a member of my neighborhood crime-watch group on Facebook. There’s an older black gentleman who comes through the neighborhood every couple of months selling citrus cleaners out of his van. Nice old guy trying to make some walking around money—he’s the definition of harmless. Two days ago in this group, he was accused of using the door-to-door salesman pitch as cover for what he was really doing…..casing properties. The old guy was reported to the Sheriff’s Office. Pictures of him and his car were posted online.

        I would hope the Sheriff’s Office wouldn’t treat this guy as worthy of a neighborhood search, but I don’t have that confidence. If a Deputy pulls this guy over on the basis of the racial biases of people who live in rural Shasta County, I would hope the Deputy wouldn’t assume that the old guy is a criminal and probably has a gun, but I don’t have that confidence. God help the old guy if he gets out of the van with a spray bottle of citrus cleaner in his hand.

        • Avatar Tim says:

          Some of Blacks’ disproportionate negative contacts with police undoubtedly stem from racial bias, but you also cannot overlook the increased criminality of the Black community. Some of that criminality may stem from diminished economic opportunities as a result of systematic racism, but much of it comes from the black community pressuring itself to avoid conforming to society’s rules.

          Upstanding blacks are too often derided for being Uncle Toms or Oreos and this conditioning begins at a young age. A 2009 study by a Harvard econ professor showed that while white middle schoolers were generally more popular the higher their gpa, black kids’ popularity plummeted once their gpa exceeded 3.5. “children can’t achieve unless we raise their expectations and turn off the television sets and eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting white.” – Barack Obama 2004

          The “so what” of dispatch priming seems self evident to me — that much of the bias is present before officers even get the call. Perhaps instead of automatically castigating cops as trigger happy racists, some attention could be paid to finding the best practices for dispatching (e.g. asking follow-up questions to determine why the suspect seems suspicious to the caller and if it is possible the perceived weapon is something innocuous).

          • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

            “…but much of it comes from the black community pressuring itself to avoid conforming to society’s rules.”

            Wut.

            Real question: Do you actually know any black people? Do you think they all live in Compton or the Fruitvale Station neighborhood of Oakland, or similar settings? Do you think they uniformly celebrate the gangsta lifestyle?

            The African-American community’s biggest problem with embracing to The American Way, in my opinion, is overdoing it when it comes to the value placed on rank consumerism and acquisition of “stuff.” I understand why that’s happened, but I don’t think it’s an optimally healthy outcome to adopt one of White America’s worst traits.

            I don’t know where that Harvard professor did his study, but when I and my kids went to high school 4.0 GPA students were popular with other 4.0 students. Among the white kids, being anywhere above a 3.0 got you nowhere near the social-status lift that being a star athlete got you. And among a fairly sizable cohort (including many of the star jocks), being a 4.o was a demerit. Extra demerits if you were a 4.0 Asian student. (But among Asian students, being a 4.0 student *did* make you top-grade.)

            Lastly (since you were responding to me), I don’t know where you got “…automatically castigating cops for being trigger-happy racists….” I didn’t suggest that. I think our Sheriff’s Office response to the black citrus cleaner salesman was appropriate. It seems they said, “Uh huh. Call us if you see him committing an actual crime.”

          • Avatar Tim says:

            Speaking of dispatch priming, did you read about the deputies in Oregon who responded to a trapped roomba with their guns drawn? The luddites!

            And here is a link to that study on racial differences in popularity vs gpa: https://scholar.harvard.edu/files/fryer/files/an_empirical_analysis_of_acting_white.pdf

            Real answers: Yes, no, no

      • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

        A follow-up comment: I posted this, and then went to ANC’s home page and said to myself, “Oh, I haven’t read Dan Adams’ piece called “Unbelievable” yet.” And waddaya know….

        If you haven’t read Dan’s post yet, go read it. And read Candace C’s comment on Facebook Crime Watch groups below Dan’s post.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Candace, if Tim was looking for nuances, he would have read my story.

      • Avatar Tim says:

        Oh I read it. I particularly liked the nuance in your description of a fleeing fugitive meth head (wearing gloves and a knit hat on a warm summer night) pounding on doors in the Parkview neighborhood as “seeking shelter” while wearing “dark clothing” – then leaving out any mention of the perp’s final charge towards the officer and his history of violently resisting arrest.

  12. Avatar Candace C says:

    Tim, “The discrepancy stems from the fact POC are stopped much more often by police than whites.” Yep.

  13. Avatar Candace C says:

    Tim, “Some of that criminality may stem from diminished economic opportunities as a result of systematic racism…” I would replace “Some” with “ Most” and change “may stem” to “stems”. As far as your statement about the black community pressuring itself to avoid conforming to (white) societal rules? I can’t even.

  14. Avatar Candace C says:

    Barbara, my respect for you grows exponentially with every comment on this site. While fully aware that it’s not an acceptable form of intelligent debate, the strong urge to say “Bye Felicia” is ever present lurking behind some of my comments. Lucky I have you lurking there as well to hopefully keep me in check. Thanks for that.

    • Barbara Rice Barbara Rice says:

      Thanks, Candace.

      Back in 2014 I was given a great gift by writer John Shore (who then had a popular spirituality/advice/ advocacy/ humor blog on Patheos/ Huffington Post) with an invitation to cut my moderating teeth (so to speak) late at night when the trolls came out from under the bridges. I got to work with author Dan Wilkinson as well as several other fine moderators. We deleted a LOT of comments and, if warnings didn’t work, banned jerks at our own discretion because we saw some REALLY ugly stuff directed at people in crisis…. As John said to me in an email:

      “Ax the shit; make sure the good people get love. That’s… the whole deal.”

  15. Avatar Candace C says:

    Tim, this is what I know. Black Lives Matter was not born in a bubble. Like many professions, racism in the law enforcement community exists, they are not immune. That doesn’t translate to ALL law enforcement. I’m not black, so on further introspection, me whitesplaining the cause/effect of racism in law enforcement seems more than dumb, so I’m going to stop. The thing I do know is that racism is wrong, always.

  16. Avatar Candace C says:

    Barbara, great quote, words to live by.

  17. R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

    After reading this “short history” of police violence in Shasta County, you are perhaps wondering if something is being done about it. Well, in fact, there is. On the day this story came out, a bill was introduced in the California Legislature that is designed to limit law enforcement’s use of “lethal force.” Here’s a story from the Guardian.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/apr/10/california-police-use-of-deadly-force-bill

    • Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

      If this law passes, I think it could be a case of the cure being worse than the disease, and would put yet another burden on officers who must make a life or death decision in a split second. I think Mr. Scheide Sr. has a better solution–law enforcement agencies need to provide more training in de-escalation techniques. Especially, it would seem, some of them. Ahem.

      Do some LEOs get away with murder? Yes, but I suspect that it’s enormously more common for officer involved shootings to be the result of errors in judgment. This law will make it more likely for officers to be held criminally liable for making a good-faith mistake.

      That ain’t right.

  18. Avatar Tim says:

    CA DOJ “death in custody” data from 2006-2017 for Shasta County:

    6/26/2006: 51m suicide SCSO jail
    10/14/2006: 35m homicide CHP arrest
    12/27/2006: 37m suicide SCSO jail
    3/14/2007: 85m natural CHP arrest/crime scene
    8/14/2007: 38f suicide SCSO jail
    10/23/2007: 21m natural SCSO jail
    7/24/2008: 21f suicide SCSO jail
    11/18/2009: 62m natural SCSO jail
    8/4/2011: 41m homicide CHP arrest (you already have)
    11/4/2011: 33m unknown SCSO jail
    11/5/2011: 45m suicide SCSO jail
    4/17/2012: 23m suicide SCSO jail
    6/22/2012: 19m homicide RPD arrest (you already have)
    10/4/2012: 43m accidental RPD arrest (probably Wininger)
    5/8/2013: 39m accidental CHP arrest
    7/6/2013: 28m suicide SCSO jail
    10/8/2013: 33m unknown RPD arrest (probably Motley)
    1/16/2014: 60m natural SCSO jail
    7/27/2014: 33m unknown RPD arrest (you already have)
    11/5/2014: 45m suicide SCSO jail
    11/18/2015: 38m suicide SCSO jail
    1/5/2016: 52m homicide RPD arrest (you already have)
    4/23/2016: 25m accidental CHP arrest
    11/2/2016: 63m natural SCSO jail
    11/16/2016: 56m homicide RPD arrest (you already have)
    3/24/2017: 18m homicide CHP arrest
    4/12/2017: 56m suicide SCSO jail
    5/4/2017: 59m unknown SCSO jail
    5/31/2017: 41m accidental CHP arrest
    7/8/2017: 64m accidental CHP arrest
    10/29/2017: 36m suicide SCSO jail
    11/22/2017: 20m suicide SCSO jail
    https://openjustice.doj.ca.gov/downloads/DIC_2005-2017_20180611.xlsx

    • Avatar Tim says:

      Citizen complaints against local LE:

      SCSO
      2016 2 misdemeanor complaints: 1 exonerated, 1 pending
      2017 4 noncriminal complaints: 3 sustained, 1 unfounded

      APD
      2016 2 noncriminal complaints: 12 sustained (typo?), 1 exonerated, 1 not sustained
      2017 1 noncriminal complaint: 1 sustained

      RPD
      2016 20 noncriminal complaints: 2 sustained, 3 exonerated, 3 not sustained, 7 unfounded, 9 pending
      2017 11 noncriminal complaints: 2 exonerated, 4 unfounded, 5 pending

      SC Marshall:
      2016: 0
      2017: 0

      Shasta County Probation:
      2016: 0
      2017: 2 noncriminal, 1 sustained, 1 not sustained

      Shasta County DA:
      2016: 0
      2017: 0

      Redding Fire Department:
      2016: 0
      2017: 0

      None of the complaints were reported as allegations of discrimination against race, ethnicity, gender, orientation, age, religion, disability, etc. https://openjustice.doj.ca.gov/downloads/CCAPO_2016-2017_Agency.xlsx

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Fatal Encounters doesn’t track jail or prison deaths. A few of the cases in my report were in-custody deaths, and perhaps that’s why they appear here. Sounds like I need to look into what’s happening at that jail from the looks of this list.

      As far a race is concerned, Asian Pacific Islanders appear to be dying in numbers higher than there percentage of our population (3 out of 35), Latinos are dying in about their proportion of the population (5 out of 35) and blacks at less than they percentage of the population (1 out of 35). Complicating this is are 6 cases where the race isn’t identified.

      • Avatar Tim says:

        There are a couple chp deaths fatal encounters doesn’t have (and some rpd & apd deaths the doj doesn’t seem to have). I wonder about all those accidental deaths but maybe those are crashed drunk drivers who die before they could be arrested? But how does a 21 year old die of natural causes in jail??

        Shasta County was in the top 5 for suicides in custody, but last I checked it was number 1 for suicides outside of custody too. Still, it seems like it is maybe a bit too easy to drape bed sheets through the overhead ventilation grates – perhaps suicides would fall if those grates were covered with security screens.

        There is also a new police transparency law so journalists should be able to find out which officers have those complaints. I know RPD had been dragging their feet releasing that data to the RS, but the police unions recently lost their appeal.

        • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

          Tim, I checked the dates on all the CHP deaths on your list against the Record Searchlight archive, hoping you were right, because I think five more deaths or so in Shasta County and we’ll be No. 1. Unfortunately, the RS only has one story related to the CHP dates you cite, 3/24/17, which was a CHP officer involved shooting in Tehama County, not Shasta County. Admittedly, the RS archives are incomplete, so it’s possible they reported but did not archive the other incidents.

          As I stated in the intro to this story, there is no local, state or national databases that track fatal encounters with police officers. This is why my friend started Fatal Encounters. This appears to be a list of in-custody deaths–the one CHP case in Tehama County may have been included because a traffic stop is considered “in custody.” If we can show these other CHP deaths did occur in Shasta County, we may be able to reach No. 1. Keep digging.

          But keep in mind, in-custody deaths are a different subject that has some intersection with the subject of this story.

  19. Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

    I always enjoy this ethnic debate coming from an area with virtually no ethnic disparity.
    On AZ Family news tonight. In law enforcement officer deaths since 1970 in the nation, an Arizona State University study said that LE deaths have declined since 1970. While most LE deaths are gun related deaths from drunk drivers have doubled in that time.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      The fact that we have limited ethnic diversity in Shasta County doesn’t negate the fact that we’ve got buku racists in this county. In fact, it supports it.

      • Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

        Heh. In Ventura County, I went to a junior high that was 45% white. When I first visited Mt. Shasta Mall after moving here in ’94, I looked at my wife and said, “Geez, this place sure is pale.”

  20. Avatar Candace C says:

    Bruce, the fact that this is virtually an all white area should tell you something, huh? I doubt the black couple being stopped that was referred to earlier in this comment thread found it as amusing as you seem to but then maybe I just don’t understand your Arizona brand of humor.

    • Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

      Candace, maybe I find the ethnic debate on here amusing because I used to read many complaints on here where Sheriff Joe Arpaio was illegally stopping Hispanic drivers in Phoenix where the majority of drivers are Hispanic.

  21. Joanne Snyder Joanne Snyder says:

    I was absolutely furious at my husband when he didn’t obey the sheriff officer’s directions to get on the ground when they raced into our back yard with guns drawn several years ago. Instead he told them that the guy they wanted was hiding off the hill near where our dogs were barking. So he wasn’t shot and the guy with the outstanding warrant was arrested.
    It just takes one bullet to end your story for ever. One way to avoid this is to resist arguing with people with guns. Resist the urge to discuss constitutional rights and definitely avoid displays of strength, arrogance, and demeaning comments to that person with the gun. This is the message I gave to the young people I worked with. Be calm and live to press charges or face consequences.
    I will never forget the day we were driving west on Rancho Road and my husband suddenly drove the car onto the side of road. He had spotted a truck closing in on us at a high rate of speed and wanted to get out of its way. After the truck flew by…the wind rocked our vehicle…we waited for the Police cars to pass and then headed on our way. We saw the wrecked truck down the road and leaned the story later. Steven Motley was challenging fate and endangering other people by his actions. I don’t know the details of his death and I don’t want to know. Be calm and live to press charges or face consequences.

    • Avatar Beverly Stafford says:

      Your story brings to mind the death of the young black man who was shot in his grandmother’s backyard. Why, why, why did he not stop and drop instead of seemingly trying to outrun LE.

      • Avatar Tim says:

        In 2000 a UCLA pyschologist named Shelley Taylor showed that women are more likely to freeze in response to stress while men are more likely to fight or flight. Men generally release norepinephrine and cortisol into the bloodstream, while women are more likely to release endorphins and oxytocin.

        A 2012 study suggested that these differences stemmed from the SRY gene on the Y chromosome.

  22. Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

    I was surprised by articles citing a recent study, published in the Journal of Criminology & Public Policy, finding that it’s actually much safer to be an LEO today than fifty years ago.

    “Researchers from Florida Atlantic University, Arizona State University, and the University of Texas at El Paso, found that despite increases in violent crimes, the hazards of policing has dramatically declined since 1970 with a 75 percent drop in police officer line-of-duty deaths.”

    This article, with a link to the study, mentions that officer line-of-duty deaths are most common in California, followed by Texas.

    I haven’t been able to substantiate this, but I believe more LEOs die of suicide than in the line-of-duty, and from what I can glean, California and Texas are the states where officer suicides are most common.

    https://www.fau.edu/newsdesk/articles/police-deaths-study.php

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Also Hal, the rise in violent crime peaked in the 1990s, while the rise in police shooting and killing suspects has taken off since 2000.

      And it turns out you are correct: Last year, more cops committed suicide than were killed in the line of duty. As I said in my intro, they have the worst job in the United States–fixing the problems society can’t or refuses to fix.

      • Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

        I suspect the reduced fatalities are in large part because of body armor. It would be interesting to know what’s happened with the injury rate.

        • Avatar Tim says:

          Agreed. And the disability rate – I don’t know many street-level officers who make it a full 20.

          • Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

            That brings up something else that may have a bearing on officer involved shootings. I haven’t researched this, but I’m under the impression that fewer LEOs who reach twenty years hang around now than in decades past–and more of those who stay past twenty take themselves off the street by becoming investigators or moving into the command structure. I think there are fewer old salts available to offer wisdom and guidance.