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On February 4, 2020, at 12:38 PM, Shasta County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to area of Denise Way in Cottonwood regarding a welfare check. A female reporting party called advising a male was causing a disturbance, acting irrationally. The female spoke to Deputies on the phone as she was gathering her belongings along with two juveniles preparing to leave the residence for their safety. The female remained on the line as she left the residence. The male, identified as Thomas Barbosa, 41 years of Cottonwood, began following her and the children in a separate vehicle. Deputies instructed her to drive to the area of the Auction Yard in Cottonwood to meet with them.
Thomas Barbosa has been the subject of numerous mental health related welfare check calls in the past year and has a history of being suicidal and uncooperative with law enforcement.
When Deputies arrived at the Auction Yard, Barbosa fled the location in his vehicle, described as a newer model Ford F-150. Deputies began following the vehicle and attempted a traffic stop in the area of Gas Point Road near Joanne Lane. Barbosa failed to yield and a pursuit was initiated. A helicopter from the California Highway Patrol (CHP) Air Operations Division was requested and responded to assist. Once the helecopter was overhead, Deputies ended their pursuit near Gas Point Road at Platina Road and stopped following Barbosa’s vehicle.
The CHP helicopter maintained visual contact with Barbosa’s vehicle as it drove westbound on Platina Road for approximately 15 minutes. The vehicle passed the area of Nono Road and Platina road and began slowing. The vehicle made a U-turn and drove up a small dirt embankment on the north side of Platina Road, driving through a barb wire fence. Barbosa drove the vehicle on top of the small embankment and positioned the vehicle to face the large cliff/drop off in front of it. The vehicle remained stopped in this position for several minutes. Without warning, Barbosa accelerated forward and drove off the steep cliff. The vehicle rolled several times and came to rest on its driver side with the roof resting against a large tree. The CHP helicopter crew notified Shasta County Sheriff’s deputies of the update and requested they respond to assist. Bystanders began arriving at the scene as well.
Shasta County Sherriff’s deputies arrived in the area of the collision and responded down the steep embankment to assist Barbosa. He was conscious and refused to obey deputies’ commands. He had armed himself with a fixed blade knife. Over a period of several minutes, numerous negotiation attempts were made to gain the cooperation of Barbosa, including less lethal options. Barbosa refused commands and refused to drop the knife. A Shasta County Sheriff’s Sergeant fired one round from a .223 caliber rifle, striking Barbosa.
Deputies began rendering medical aid and additional medical personnel also arrived to assist. Barbosa was pronounced deceased at the scene.
The Shasta County Multi-Agency Officer Involved Critical Incident Protocol was activated. The Redding Police Department Investigations Division took over the investigation with assistance of the Shasta County District Attorney’s Office and the Shasta County Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit. There were no other occupants in the suspect vehicle. The investigation is active and ongoing. No further information will be released at this time.
An autopsy on Barbosa will be conducted in the near future. Anyone with information about this investigation or who may have been a bystander at the scene is urged to contact the Redding Police Department Investigations Division at 530-225-4200.