Woman Armed with Handgun, Fatally Shot by Officer Identified

May 16, 2014 · 90 comments

Police have identified an armed woman fatally shot by a police officer in Concord on Thursday evening, a police lieutenant said.

Officers responded to a report of a suicidal female in the 2700 block of Pacheco Street around 5:30 p.m., Lt. David Hughes said.

The woman, later identified as 57-year-old Valeri Hawkins, told a police dispatcher she had a gun and wanted to kill herself, according to Hughes.

Arriving officers found Hawkins standing outside of a residence holding a handgun, he said.

An officer ordered her to drop the firearm but she refused and pointed the gun at him, Hughes said.

The officer feared for his life and fired one shot at Hawkins in self-defense, he said.

Officers performed CPR on her but she was later pronounced dead at the scene, according to Hughes.

Hawkins is a Concord resident with a history of mental illness, Hughes said.

The Contra Costa County sheriff’s and district attorney’s offices are assisting Concord police in investigating the shooting.

RELATED STORY: Woman Dead After Officer-Involved Shooting in Downtown Concord

1 Justin May 16, 2014 at 10:34 AM

Death by cop? Looks like she got what she wanted, except now an officer has to live with it.

2 Mark May 16, 2014 at 10:56 AM

That was pretty chicken sh!# of her to do that to the officer.

3 Wow... May 16, 2014 at 11:03 AM

I’ve heard stories of people doing this. Wanting to die, they provoke the police to shoot them.

I agree with Mark – total Chicken S**T thing to do. This is up there with people jumping off freeway over-passes or in front of BART tains.

If you want to kill yourself, please do it so that you don’t leave others with life-long emotional scars to deal with.

4 Sad all around May 16, 2014 at 11:06 AM

Many people don’t realize just how prevalent mental health is, reaching crisis levels. Try to get help at Kaiser, or through the public health system. It’s almost non-existent. This is terribly sad. This woman is dead and, an officer has been forced to take a life. Horrible.

Before anyone starts posting stupid comments…pause. We all know just how bad things can get, and for some…they are not getting the help they need, and this is the kind of thing one can expect. Say a prayer for her, and the officer.

5 Rob May 16, 2014 at 11:14 AM

I don’t see the problem. We live in a society that has incredibly easy access to guns, anyone who wants one can get one no matter how crazy, so, sometimes one of those crazy people has a gun and points it at a cop and the cop has to shoot first…

Is there a story here?

To me it just sounds like another day.

6 Idiocracy May 16, 2014 at 11:20 AM

Mental Health is a major issue, we need to open up nuthouses, asylums or whatever. From city bums to nympho soccer moms there seems to be a dense population of crazies in the bay. Mental cases are on the rise and so is selfishness. Whatever happened to the golden rule?

7 JET May 16, 2014 at 11:20 AM

I totally agree with the previous post by ‘Sad all around’ #4 – couldn’t have said it better myself.

8 Clasping Forehead May 16, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Glad she did not point the gun at an unarmed person and then pull the trigger.

9 Sad May 16, 2014 at 11:42 AM

I feel bad for the officer being forced to take a life. He has to live with it, she took the easy way out. Suicide is NOT a victimless crime.

10 D May 16, 2014 at 11:44 AM

In the street with a handgun.. I think they did what they had to do.

11 Idiocracy May 16, 2014 at 11:49 AM

Why didn’t the cop shoot her in the leg or arm though? Why are they so quick to shoot to kill? I thought these cops had range time to be good at shooting

12 CCW May 16, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Wait a minute, isn’t there a law that forbids people like this to have guns? Yeah that worked soooo well.

13 ashley May 16, 2014 at 11:52 AM

@rob if you’ve ever been put on an involuntary hold for psychiatric reasons by CA state law you can’t own or be in possession of a firearm for 5 years. just FYI

14 CCW May 16, 2014 at 11:54 AM

Wait a minute, isn’t there a law that forbids people like this to have guns? Yeah that worked soooo well. Maybe we should forbid people who did nothing wrong, that’ll teach ‘em. (Sarcasm)

15 NRA #1 fan and member May 16, 2014 at 11:56 AM

@ #11 ……Don’t be dumb, be glad the cops killed her. If she’d live, she’d get ahold of a gun and kill innocent people, mentally ill people are unstable and need to locked up 24/7.

Once again, guns dont kill people kill.

16 Widowmaker2213 May 16, 2014 at 11:59 AM

Idiocracy, Cops are trained to end a threat. What if they aim for a leg or arm and miss? Where does that round go, striking a innocent bystander ?
I don’t know any officer that is that good under tremendous stress that can aim for a small body part and shoot the gun from someone’s hand..

I’m sorry until you’ve been there don’t critize .

17 OMG May 16, 2014 at 12:02 PM

I can tell that most of the people in the claycord area have never had to deal with a person with mental illness. You sound like it is such an easy thing. When someone wants to KILL themselves that is the only thing they are thinking about. NOT the Bart train driver, or the police officer, or the poor driver on the freeway. They just want the pain they are enduring to go away. Nothing to them makes sense. Be thankful you have never had to deal with this problem. Getting them help is like trying to win the lottery. The odds are NOT on your side. As for the police they are trained to shoot if they feel threatened because they want to go home at the end of their shift like everyone else. This is truly a NO win situation. But I can say during this time CPD dispatchers DID NOT send help to people who did dial 911 during this time. That is total BS because lives were on the line.

18 Shirley Wilson May 16, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Thank you Ronald Reagan for closing mental institutions when you were Governor of California! And so now we have mentally ill people living in at risk situations and this is the result. I am very sorry for this woman, her family and friends. And most of all for this officer who has to live with this event for the rest of his life.

19 Brandon May 16, 2014 at 12:17 PM

Stop saying those idiotic comments about “shoot him in the arms” this isn’t Hollywood!!! You wanna go home at the end of your shift to your wife and children!

20 puffandstuff May 16, 2014 at 12:22 PM

Whoa @ Shirley – u are blaming Ronald Reagan. That is a stretch.

21 Flower Girl May 16, 2014 at 12:23 PM

OMG #17, you are spot on! Couldn’t have said it better myself.

22 Just a Citizen May 16, 2014 at 12:31 PM

With all the Offiicer involved shootings of late, I think more training is needed on split second decisions and where to shoot/Taze a person that is going to halt them, but not kill them.
I see many Police out there that do not have enough experience and or training to handle cases like this where people are probably just Mentally unstable or going through a tough time.
They should all have learned from the Oscar Grant case.

23 Silva May 16, 2014 at 1:05 PM

We DID have hospitals and care for the mentally ill until RONALD REGAN closed them.

24 Silva May 16, 2014 at 1:07 PM

He closed them and kicked everyone out.

25 Morshu May 16, 2014 at 1:14 PM
26 mardiem May 16, 2014 at 1:17 PM

The thing i do not understand is, why does they always have to fire a fatal shot, i mean this woman is not a trained soldier or police man who probably could handle to be shot and still operate equipment or shoot straight because their brain muscle is trained accordingly.

A shot in Arm or Leg would have probably taken her down without thinking about what she wanted to do any second longer, don’t you think?

I would even say a warning shot in the air would have been appropriate in this situation.

From my point of view as long as no one opens fire there is no danger.
Specially not from an untrained 57 year old woman with obviously mental problems and stress.

@Widowmaker: A 9mm full-metal jacked has enough power to pen car doors like butter and is known to be NO man stopper it’ll hit anyone at its range and go right through it in most of the cases no matter if you hit or not the bulled is always a problem.

A warning shot in the Air is usually enough to remind (specially untrained civilians) that they are in a serious situation and should rethink their next steps.

Cops are trained to know what to do and when and how to shoot in stress situations, same as soldiers are. THEY know, and if they DON’T they should not be a Cop or a soldier … sorry

27 Local LEO May 16, 2014 at 1:28 PM

@Just a Citizen #22

Let me just say that we go through strenuous training on when/how to deal with threats. This training occurs at the academy and is ongoing throughout our careers in law enforcement. I deal with mentally unstable people on a daily basis, and 99% of those encounters are resolved with no force or violence.

Unfortunately, there are times when I am put in a position to defend my life or the life of someone else. In that situation I am going to do what is needed to ensure that I and my partners make it home to our families. We shoot to stop the treat. We don’t shoot to hurt, or shoot to distract. When someone is pointing a gun at me, I treat that as a threat to me life and I act accordingly. The last thing I ever want to do is take a life, but everyday I don the uniform, that is a possibility.

If anyone thinks that it is possible to shoot a weapon from someone’s hand or just hit them in the arm, then maybe you need to spend some time in some force-on-force firearms drills to see what happens when the adrenaline is flowing and split second decisions must be made. Firing a projectile that’s the size of a TicTac and hitting a moving target isn’t as easy as Bruce Willis makes it seem.

28 @wow May 16, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Yes ! You discovered it. The cops ate their donuts ,and bored, said “let’s go find an innocent person and kill them”

Idiot.

29 Marianne May 16, 2014 at 1:36 PM

@Wow
That does seem like a plausible scenario; everyone should look at the most likely scenarios in this case instead of jumping to conclusions. I think he was right in this case.

30 Idiocracy May 16, 2014 at 1:39 PM

Obviously we have some none shooters here who have never ever fired a hand gun. Um, yes you can aim for a leg or at least a shoulder shot. Cop probably had a Glock = 3 to 4 inch MOA = could of went for a limb or idk the “Shoulder” . Don’t tell me ppl cant aim especially cops with hours on the range. Some of you seem mentally unfit cheerleading this ladies death = #15. The complete ignorance and lack of education in the Bay is appalling, pick up a book hodors!

31 Cody May 16, 2014 at 1:45 PM

Mayor – has a name been released for the man who jumped in front of the BART train at Pleasant Hill station yet?

32 CLAYCORD.com May 16, 2014 at 1:47 PM

Cody, no, not yet.

33 mardiem May 16, 2014 at 1:56 PM

@Local LEO:
Understand and fully respect this. And I am happy you guys are out there serving! But still :p The parts of a human body who would cause fatal shut down are WAY smaller than a Leg or an Arm and BTW a shot in the stomach is not fatal and it’s a pretty BIG target.

Who said I am not Trained and don’t have combat experience ?

Anyways, Thank you for the answer and take care! Have a great weekend ya’ll

34 Bellarium May 16, 2014 at 2:01 PM

Very sad situation. The officer had to do what he had to do. Sending prayers to her family and to the police officer.

35 Quit hiding! May 16, 2014 at 2:14 PM

Some of the comments on Claycord.com are rediculous! It amazes me what is spewed out of a persons mouth when they are hidden behind the veil of anonymity.

36 Roberto May 16, 2014 at 2:28 PM

About warning shots. When an officer unclips his holster s/he has already made a choice. When an officer draws a weapon it is only for the purpose of taking a life. The decision has been made. That is the way it is done. When you consider that it is not the police officer that made the decision that somebody is going to die it makes more sense. The perpetrator made that decision that someone would die. The officer just makes sure it is not him or her that dies.

37 Incognito May 16, 2014 at 2:33 PM

Let’s look at this picture.
Suicidal/mentally ill woman holding a gun and pointing at a police officer.
Police officer has a decision to make. Police office has limited amount of time to stops and consider the situation and what path this may take. If he shoots a “warning ” shot as some have suggested or shoots her in the leg, she could then fire a fatal shot into the police officer. End result: police officer is dead. This is a situation of the police officer doing his job. If you were in his position (being a cop or not) if it were a question of your life or theirs, it is pretty clear what to do.

38 mutts May 16, 2014 at 2:34 PM

Don’t see democratic governors re opening the asylums.

39 Richard Mumper May 16, 2014 at 2:40 PM

I was actually related to her. I know for a fact that she wanted to kill herself and had tried to on numerous occasions prior to this sad event. She was also highly intelligent and would have easily fooled everyone to make sure she remained outside any institution. She also made sure the cop killed her. No grudge here against the officer who did his job and unfortunately Valeri knew what his job was beforehand and used that information to finally get what she wanted.

40 warbirds45 May 16, 2014 at 2:42 PM

Arm the homeless!……….That would be one way to eliminate the homeless problem. Annie Green Springs in one hand, and a .45 in the other!

41 Rob May 16, 2014 at 2:56 PM

ashley May 16, 2014 at 11:52 AM
@rob if you’ve ever been put on an involuntary hold for psychiatric reasons by CA state law you can’t own or be in possession of a firearm for 5 years. just FYI

===========================

While that is the law, the reality is that in our country guns are so easily obtained that those laws have little meaning. Go to any gun show – there is no background check, buy a gun over the internet, buy it in person from a private seller…

IMHO – crazy people who want a gun aren’t going to be concerned with “breaking the law”…

42 youngrasshopper May 16, 2014 at 3:03 PM

First of all, cops are trained if u shoot you kill, end of story. All you people saying should have shot her in the arm etc, yeah sure, but it doesnt happen your way, and I’m sure the cops hate that to, but its the way it is, not dealing with peace core bs. You never know how something can escalate, what if they dis shoot her in the arm and she got pissed and shot back? There you have a shoot out. if they tried to reason with her that’s all that matters really, it was either she was going to do it or them. She got what she wanted in the end, its a tragic thing, but we cant sit her and make it a one ended story. The cop had his job to do and she knew what she was doing. If she was scared she would have dropped the gun, instead of making it a scene like that. Some people cannot be helped, we cannot speculate what she was going through. What’s done is done and hopes the cop is okay and she rip.

43 The Closer May 16, 2014 at 3:05 PM

Is it Mr. or Mrs. Quit hiding?

44 Cuzzzzz........... May 16, 2014 at 3:41 PM

Mary @ 41……….no the cop should not have shot her in the arm, leg, or butt. Bottom line is a mentally disturbed person point a gun at the cop. So if it were you and she pointed a gun at you what……..Ummmm tell you what sweety if it were me it would would be me living and her dying because in my universe my life is worth more.

Maybe you and “down and out” can go out next time instead of CPD to handle the sitution and we call all see how that works

45 Cowellian May 16, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Cody@31, According to the Times, the man who jumped in front of the train was Navid Ebrahim, aged 46.

46 Horse n around May 16, 2014 at 4:11 PM

Seriously? Is Mary for real?

47 waverunner May 16, 2014 at 4:38 PM

To Mary #41 – and what would have been your recourse had the woman managed to get off a round and wounded or killed you or others around you? People would probably not have been going home to their families.

To Richard Mumper – sorry for your loss of a loved one and also thank you for your honesty in regard to the threat that Valeri was to law enforcement, and also for having the courage to absolve the officer of the shooting.

To Mardiem – you are obviously coming from a military background where “warning shots” are permissable. This was not a military zone; this was a residential neighborhood. And where would that bullet from the “warning shot” have come down? Possibly on innocent people in the area?

Cops are not the military, and they only have one shot when their lives are in danger.

48 @ Mary May 16, 2014 at 4:50 PM

Damn woman – you can’t be serious?

49 @Rob #42 May 16, 2014 at 4:55 PM

Have you actually tried to buy a gun on the Internet or at a gun show, or are you just parroting the BS propaganda from anti-gunners? Trust me, it’s not like they make it sound.

50 @horse n round May 16, 2014 at 4:59 PM

No ,Mary is just an ignorant cop hating troll. Nothing new here.

51 F*€k!n6 idiot Mary May 16, 2014 at 5:01 PM

Wounded people can still shoot and kill. CPD did their job. End of story. Officer goes home to his/her friends and family. The way it should be which isn’t always the case. Shootings are split second decisions and a center mass shot is way easier to hit then a limb.

52 Dennis May 16, 2014 at 5:03 PM

@Rob
” Go to any gun show – there is no background check, buy a gun over the internet, buy it in person from a private seller…”

again, your “ban guns” advocacy has caused your to intentionally misstate facts.

You buy a gun at a gun show, or over the internet, or from a private seller, you do not get the gun. That gun is sent to a registered dealer, and you have to do all the papaerwork and background checks, etc. and wait 10 days to pick up the gun.

but hey, that doesn’t play as well as your alarmist falsehoods.

53 Kirk May 16, 2014 at 5:07 PM

I have bought a gun on the Internet, used an iPad, still had to be shipped to a dealer, still had a 10 day wait. Still had to fill out paper work, when I went to pick up my rifle a ATF rep was at the store doing a routine audit. They had to prove every gun in their possession for sale, new and used, and all guns in for smithing were in fact in the store.

The laws for honest people are quit extensive. The laws for scum bags don’t really matter. They are scum bags. Although Hilary did propose to restore their voting rights. Go big C.

54 Dennis May 16, 2014 at 5:11 PM

@Shirley

wow. Reagan was Governor in the 80s. Some nutjob who should have been locked up then, but wasn’t, has been running around for 30+ years … without killing anyone.

Blame nutjobs NOW on Reagan, 30 years after the fact? Get a clue. Next you’ll claim Bush caused Katrina.

And why hasn’t 30 years of all-Dem government in CA reopened any of those institutions? So you can continue to blame Reagan?

Sounds to me like you are a prime candidate if they ever do reopen.

55 Dennis May 16, 2014 at 5:21 PM

@mardiem

“A shot in Arm or Leg would have probably taken her down without thinking about what she wanted to do any second longer, don’t you think?

I would even say a warning shot in the air would have been appropriate in this situation.

From my point of view as long as no one opens fire there is no danger.
Specially not from an untrained 57 year old woman with obviously mental problems and stress.”

in the air? where does that bullet come down? that is absolutely irresponsible.

And most police are going to .40 with hollow points, or .45. Check the inside of your arm, and the inside of your thigh. Huge arteries. Nick one with a bullet, and the person bleeds out immediately. Especially if a bone shatters and rips out a huge section of artery.

Why go with a low percentage of success wounding shot? Why require the LEO to risk missing, or not incapacitating the target? Why try for a shot that is likely to be fatal anyway, but poses much more risk to the LEO?

This incident is not about LEO policy … it is about a suicide that chose death-by-cop to jumping off an overpass or in front of a BART train.

56 ANON May 16, 2014 at 5:24 PM

Taser has a 21 foot length– a civilian one is 15 feet. NO cop or civilian wants to get that close.

57 Rollo Tomasi May 16, 2014 at 5:37 PM

@#50:
Of course he hasn’t. Other than paying the meth freak down the road $100 for the gun he recently stole none of Rob’s scenarios work.

@ Rob:
Tell you what. Find a gun on the internet to buy without the required background checks, and I’ll donate the price of it to your favorite charity.

58 Gus May 16, 2014 at 5:57 PM

Don’t be hard on Mary, her last name is Jane and she is kinda stupid.

Her other idea was to use the Jedi mind trick.

59 @ Local Leo May 16, 2014 at 6:33 PM

It’s about the Young punks that join the force to feel powerful. This is not Iraq and you don’t just shoot because you are P.O’d
Not the dedicated Police who go in to serve humanity.
Still more training is needed on this subject!

60 Sar Casm May 16, 2014 at 7:34 PM

That’s why I saw cops blocking Beach Street from Bonifacio to Salvio last night on my walk.

61 Kristine May 16, 2014 at 7:44 PM

@ Richard Mumper – peace be with you.

62 Retired LE May 16, 2014 at 8:41 PM

Officers are trained to shoot to stop the threat, not to wound or kill the attacker. No warning shots. That means shooting at center mass until the threat is no longer a threat. Once the bullet leaves the gun, you have no control over where it goes….so firing a warning shot means that the round may hit some other person thousands of feet away,

Mary would never have been hired as a cop….so her comment “if I were a cop……” is a little confusing. Had she been hired as an officer and shot the individual as she claimed she would have, then she did not adhere to her deapartment training standards. She would have been disciplined and probably fired.

When an officer is faced with a BG holding a gun, he doesn’t have the time to evaluate whether a person us mentally ill, and if so, what that person may/may not do. That’s why the officers go through annual AO training on perishable skills…..to help keep that focus and be able to make decisions to allow them to go home at the of their shift.

For those claiming that a warning or wounding shot is appropriate, I challenge you to go to any law enforcement agency on the state or country and ask about their policy and why it is that way. I’ll bet you get the same answer from all of them.

Time spent on the range is good, but that doesn’t address real life situations.

63 Elwood May 16, 2014 at 8:48 PM

@ Idiocracy # 6

Could you please tell me where to find a nympho soccer mom?

64 Elwood May 16, 2014 at 8:51 PM

@ Shirley Wilson #18

Ronald Reagan signed bills which were passed by the legislature.

65 Elwood May 16, 2014 at 8:54 PM

@ Just a Citizen #22

Oscar Grant was a ne’er do well who liked to get drunk and fight with the cops.

He did it one time too many.

66 Elwood May 16, 2014 at 8:56 PM

@ Silva 23 & 24

You are ignorant.

See #63 above.

67 Elwood May 16, 2014 at 9:02 PM

@ Mary #41

You are an idiot. Have you ever fired a handgun?’

Try just nicking someone who is pointing a gun at you and your adrenaline is surging and you are afraid for your life.

68 Mary May 16, 2014 at 9:17 PM

Theses cops weren’t fighting the Germans on the shores of Normandy, or the Taliban in Iraq… it was just a lone female on a quiet residential street in Concord and some of you act as if she were some ferocious combatant out to kill anyone her crossed her path. It was a cowardly disgusting act to gun her down. Shame on those of you who try to justify this killing.

69 @ Mary May 16, 2014 at 10:24 PM

Spoken like someone who has never ever faced a situation where their life was on the line. Does it matter if the Germans are pointing at gun at you or the taliban or some crazy person? Dead is DEAD. You point a gun a me and I will do whatever it takes to survive.

You want to take the chance the someone pointing a gun at you won’t shoot that is up to you. Darwin’s theory in action as far as I am concerned.

70 @ Elwood May 16, 2014 at 10:25 PM

In the vodka again?

71 thoughts to ponder May 16, 2014 at 10:29 PM

What are tasers for? What are bullet proof vests for?
What is Police training for?
Any lamebrain can run in and shoot a person. We need better trained Police.
When I see these young frail woman on the streets in uniform, I know anyone can be an Officer, but who can really do the job right?

72 @ Mary May 16, 2014 at 10:30 PM

No worries, you will never be the police….and you have NEVER once shot a gun either.

73 Anon May 16, 2014 at 10:58 PM

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=326271a274

Here’s an old person with a gun. The officer tried to reason with them and he lost his life.

Watch. Learn. Then shut up and sit back in your computer chair and say a silent thank you for the officers out there keeping you safe.

“People Sleep Peacefully in Their Beds at Night Only Because Rough Men Stand Ready to Do Violence on Their Behalf”

74 another arm chair quarterback May 16, 2014 at 11:03 PM

I am relieved that one shot was fired. I say this because that indicates that this was NOT an Amadou Diallo/ dead men tell no tales style execution. If the officer’s intent was to kill, then he probably would have squeezed a few more times. It sounds to me like the intent was to neutralize the threat, and this was accomplished with one shot. I would speculate that the next thought that raced through the officer’s mind was please let her survive that single shot.

There are certainly bad cops out there that use excessive force, but this in no way strikes me as that. It sounds to me like an officer was threatened with a gun and amazingly did not stray from protocol. I doubt I would have had as much composure.

To the officer who must bear this tragedy for the rest of their lives, please know that many of us appreciate the unwinnable situations that you are sometimes forced to confront. There’s probably no silver lining here, just really bad for everyone.

By and large I’ve usually found CPD rank and file to highly professional and good people. I hope they are able to give their fellow officer the support they need to move past this tragedy.

75 Suzanne May 17, 2014 at 12:06 AM

Now Elwood, have some compassion…

76 joebob May 17, 2014 at 12:55 AM

Sad all the way around. We live in a society overflowing with guns and little or no resources for mental health issues. Cops are in the middle of it; damned if they do, damned if they don’t. She shouldn’t have had access to the gun. That’s right by Baldwin Park. What if she had wandered into a soccer practice with that gun, or the Senior Center. I live a few blocks down and walk down that street with my kids. My sympathies to her family and to the officer. I’d like to know whose gun it was, and how she got a hold of it.

77 Lol May 17, 2014 at 1:02 AM

You all are making me laugh! Especially Elwood What a sad angry person. Get laid much? Might make ya feel better, but first ya might have to smile at a girl. Come on you can do it. ;) Good Night all! Let’s hope for a quite night here in big bad Concord Cali. Just be thankful were not in Detroit for crying out loud! Ain’t nobody got time for that!

78 Rollo Tomasi May 17, 2014 at 1:16 AM

Mary, you are either a troll or a person that believes nothing bad can happen as long as there are unicorns and rainbows out there.

And if you come back with another comment about how this could have been handled differently, please explain SPECIFICALLY what should have been done so that ALL parties remain safe and uninjured. Please keep in mind that if a taser is used, or a shot is fired at an arm or a leg, the suspect can still fire their weapon. If that bullet even nicks a femoral, brachial or hepatic artery, that gunshot victim bleeds out in a matter of seconds.

79 anon May 17, 2014 at 1:35 AM

Wow. Cant imagine how a cop handles some of this stress. What he must be feeling going out on the call as I’m sure he knew what the scene would be. This time I didn’t feel like reading some of the comments so i don’t know if someone questioned the use rubber bullets or tranquilizer type gun the use on dangerous animals.
Remember, most suicidal people don’t really want to die, they just want the pain to be gone. Sometimes the pain is so harsh and constant that there is no hope of it ever ending especially with mental people.
I’m thinking the reason she may not have used the gun on herself may have something to do with combo of her mental illness and never having authority over her own life.

80 NotPC May 17, 2014 at 4:00 AM

@Thoughts to Ponder – I’ve cut this from a post I made on a related thread. It aplies here so I’ll say it again:

If you taser someone who is pointing a gun at you (or anywhere really) what do you think the result would be?

I’ll tell you. Your muscles “pull” together, all of them, which is why tased folks fall, they can no longer balance. THIS INCLUDES THE FINGER ON THE TRIGGER. Do you know what this means? Pow! – bullet(s) flying unaimed into what or WHO?

Tasers MAY be employed against knife\bat\pipe\brick\etc weilding folks, or those resisting arrest; but NEVER against someone with their gun out. Never. You don’t ask nicely for them to drop it when IT’S POINTED AT YOU. (If it’s not, yes, you demand they drop it and show you their hands) You shoot to kill in these “active shooter” scenarios. And it must be a Center Mass shot.

81 Kirk May 17, 2014 at 8:29 AM

@72.

What good is a bullet resistant vest if they shoot you in the face?

A general question for the people who think the police are at fault: would you feel better if the cop were killed? How many cops need to die on a weekly basis to corral the detritus of a morally bankrupt culture that is more concerned with access to drugs than getting a job?

And if dying to save psychos with guns were a requirement for the job do you really think anyone would do it.

It’s as if you people don’t consider that police officers are people. People with families who want to go home at the end of their shift. Who the hell are you to condem them to death?

You freak out when there is a state execution of a rat scumbag murderer but would condem a police officer to die without a thought. Yikes.

Be safe CPD.

82 This guy May 17, 2014 at 8:30 AM

Mary, look at it this way, ur husband or son is a cop. He knows Mary (that’s u) doesn’t think he should ever kill anyone. He responds to a similar incident and says to himself, Mary would be upset, I’ll be the hero and he aims and shoots the person in the leg. The person is on medications and doesn’t feel the pain, but knows she just got shot. She shoots your son/husband with a lucky shot and get him in the neck and he falls. Next thing u know the chief is nocking on ur door with a sad message. How do u feel the rest of ur life knowing ur son/husband did not come home from work bc he wanted to help a women with intentions of killing him?

This idea of aiming for a non vital does not work. The risk is not worth it. Police have a family they need to go home to.

83 resident May 17, 2014 at 10:48 PM

Rather than adding to the noise about whether deadly force was properly used by police in this particular incident, I want toadd a little more actual information for consideration.

I was walking past the scene (on Salvio, a block away) as the incident was unfolding. Granted, I did not approach TOO close to the scene, but this isn’t hearsay or opinion, this was observed fact

I could see at least a half-dozen police cars on the side streets, and there were probably others out of my line of sight. As I was walking by, another 6 police cruisers came wailing up in a line as fast as they could drive, looking like a scene from one of the movies that depict foolish excess by police (such as The Blues Brothers, Smokey and the Bandit, etc). At least 4 other police sirens could be heard approaching from the distance.
(that’s the end of the facts – the below is speculation or opinion)

I don’t know exactly how many officers & cars were on duty in Concord at that time, but I suspect a large percentage of the duty force rushed to this scene.

This raises two concerns for me:
1. how many police remained at their assigned duty stations in case some OTHER problem occurred at the same time?
2. was the incident sufficient to warrant such a massive response? Or was the number of responders an indication of an attitude in the force? It seemed to me that many officers really really want to be “in on the action” rather than doing boring things like preserving the peace and helping citizens?

84 VikingPrincess May 18, 2014 at 1:40 AM

Wow….what a story.
@kirk – I say this with sincerity and not sarcasm..I am truly sorry that you feel that way about the “culture”. Not sure if that was about Americans or California or Contra Costa. I think somewhere someone or some thing failed you. It was hard to read and even harder to imagine interacting with someone who thinks that way. I hope something really good happens to you so you can consider other perspectives ;).

@resident
Wow.
I known that females do not typically commit suicide via violently (guns or death by cop) although they may admit to suicidal thoughts or attempts.
The situation was NOT typical and it does need further investigation, information and problem solving from an objective source. If she called there is a recording of the conversation. What was she instructed to do? How helpful was the person who took the call? Etc. This was the only contact with outside before police arrived, correct? Not blaming either. The story about the heavy response from police is pretty weird. We have little info. But I don’t think she had hostages or was barricading herself. No mention she had a violent tendency etc..so let’s see what they find. Wow.

In do not know CPDs style, but I do know of several cases where the problem was from the first contact. One in Solano county where a frightened woman developed a good relationship with local police because she was a victim of domestic violence and was instructed to just call when her husband showed up and not make a sound or answer door and they would show. He showed around the time suspected at night. The operator was downright rude and abrupt, not understanding. Yelled at her and she was so scared she was crying. The police had trouble finding her house, as the operator yelled at her and talkednover her, never clarified location etc.. The report from the conversation stated that the caller refused to answer questions asked. Period. Bull.

Sorry this happened and my heart goes out to all involved or effectrd. Don’t judge either side, but would like to know what really happened and how it can be avoided in the future.

85 led May 18, 2014 at 6:26 AM

Sounds like the officer acted appropriately. Very sad situation. But some peope here apparently think that once a cop draws his or her weapon, all bets are off. That’s ridiculous. This cop did it right, but citizens shouldn’t write a blank check for police to resort to deadly force. There are lots of cases where cops draw their weapons and it turns out there is in fact no threat.

86 Bark chewer May 18, 2014 at 2:29 PM

Leave Reagan out of this. My point is CPD knowing full well they are going on a call from a woman with a gun, shows up and shoots her dead! What happened to bean bags from shotguns or the wooden round? Not to mention of using a taser. CPD is starting to be know for using leathal force only. And that’s not a good thing.

87 Antler May 18, 2014 at 4:11 PM

Quarterback at #74…… Yes! And you expressed the facts and the attitude concept beautifully. Thank you.

88 Rollo Tomasi May 18, 2014 at 9:45 PM

@Bark Chewer:

Why do you leave out pertinent parts of the encounter? Police arrived and gave the woman a lawful order to drop the weapon. She not only refused to comply, she made a direct and clear threat of deadly violence by pointing the weapon at the officer. Then she was shot dead. If you’re going to complain about the way this was handled, please do us all the courtesy of including the entire narrative, not just the parts that fit your agenda.

89 ConcordMike May 20, 2014 at 12:33 PM

Let’s have a parade honoring this police officer and any officer who justifiably shoots “criminals”.
Ever since my police training in the 70’s, department policies have always been “shoot to kill” and “never give up your gun”. Otherwise, you are worthless to fulfill your duty of protecting the law abiding citizens of this country.
If you are confronted with deadly force, respond with deadly force.
And you only have a split second to decide this as well. Too many people here watch too much television.

90 Cowellian May 20, 2014 at 12:53 PM

It is my understanding that the standard is to “shoot to disable.” Of course, a shot to the arm or leg is probably not disabling, while a shot to center mass almost always is.

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