Updated 5:10 p.m.
The three Sacramento County deputies who fired at an unarmed black man 28 times near a busy Rancho Cordova highway last year acted lawfully during the fatal shooting, according to a district attorney investigation released on Tuesday.
Mikel McIntyre’s family says he was experiencing a mental health crisis when he was killed by deputies in May of 2017. In its report, the Sacramento County DA’s office wrote that there was not sufficient evidence to file charges against the deputies and defended their shootings as “lawful.”
Earlier this year, county Inspector General Rick Braziel released his own review of the shootings. In it, he said that the deputies fired an “excessive” number of rounds during their pursuit of McIntyre, which put the public at risk.
The DA’s report published on Tuesday describes two law enforcement encounters with McIntyre on May 8 of last year.
Deputy Gabriel Rodriguez first responded to a disturbance call at 4 p.m. According to the DA’s report, a relative had pepper-sprayed McIntyre and locked him out of their home, because he was “yelling and screaming.” The deputy concluded that McIntyre did not need mental health care.
Hours later at a shopping mall in Rancho Cordova, witnesses called 911 after seeing McIntyre grab his mother by the hair and attempt to pull her from a vehicle.
At 6:45 p.m., Deputy Jeffrey Wright arrived and followed McIntyre as he fled across a parking lot. The two eventually got into a physical fight, which culminated with McIntyre throwing a rock, hitting the deputy in the back of the head.
Wright, who was “initially dazed” according to the report, fired two shots at McIntyre, both missing.
Braziel, in his inspector general report from earlier this year, criticized the deputy for firing rounds that could have put the public in danger, writing that, despite the “chaos” of the chase, the deputies’ “ability to make sound and reasonable decisions is essential.”
The DA’s report says additional deputies responded and encountered McIntyre on the embankment under a Highway 50 overpass, where he was throwing rocks at deputies and vehicles.
McIntyre also struck Deputy Ken Becker and his canine with a rock. Becker fired eight shots at a fleeing McIntyre, some of which were fatal, according to the report.
Rodriguez — the deputy who met McIntyre at his family home earlier that day — also had arrived at the scene. The report says Rodriguez crossed lanes of Highway 50 and fired 18 shots at McIntyre.
All three deputies said they feared for their lives and the safety of the public when they fired their weapons. The DA’s report concludes that the deputies “were justified in shooting McIntyre” because he “committed forcible and atrocious felony attacks” by throwing rocks and assaulting Wright.
According to the county coroner, McIntyre died from multiple gunshot wounds.
McIntyre’s family sued the county and the city of Rancho Cordova earlier this year, arguing that the deputies should not have used deadly force.
After Braziel published his report that was critical of the deputies, Sheriff Scott Jones worked to take away the inspector general’s power to oversee his department. But county supervisors have yet to approve Jones’ plan.
Tanya Faison, who founded the Sacramento Black Lives Matter chapter, questioned whether the deputies were in danger, given that McIntyre was more than 20 feet away when they fired at him.
“At that point in time, it sounds like they were more angry instead of fearing for their lives,” she said. “I feel that it isn’t justified, according to their use of force policy.”
CapRadio has reached out to the DA’s office to discuss the investigation.
This story will be updated.
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