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Man dies in officer-involved shooting in Danville

Original post made on Nov 3, 2018

A young man died after being shot by a Danville police officer at the end of a short pursuit near downtown on Saturday morning, according to authorities.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Saturday, November 3, 2018, 5:17 PM

Comments (24)

Posted by Dave Day
a resident of Danville
on Nov 3, 2018 at 7:36 pm

My heart goes out to the officer involved and to the rest of the Danville PD. Taking a life is not something that anyone should have to experience. But, the young man made a terribly bad decision for whatever reason and the officer probably had no other recourse but to use deadly force.

Posted by Tom
a resident of Danville
on Nov 3, 2018 at 9:03 pm

It is a tragic loss of innocent life whenever police kill a suspect. Suspects are by definition innocent until proven guilty in court. I would hope Danville police get some procedure improvements out of this tragedy, like blocking suspect’s cars with a police car, not a police officer. I’ve seen to many videos of officers stepping in front of a suspect’s car as if they could stop it—but giving them the justification to shoot and kill the driver if they move.

We deserve better from our police. No matter how deviant the dead suspect may have been, he was someone’s son. Someone’s brother. Possibly a father. No more.

Posted by The Dude
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 4, 2018 at 12:11 am

Well Tom, since you seem to have mastered law enforcement, I welcome you to fill out an application at your local police department. I'm sure you have a lot of expertise you can share.

Posted by American
a resident of Danville
on Nov 4, 2018 at 7:01 am

This is Danville, not San Francisco, or Berkeley, or Oakland, where common sense matters. Tom, the problem in this situation was not the Danville Police, but rather the suspect who fled a lawful command to stop, and then put himself and others in harms way by using his vehicle as a deadly weapon. If not for the courage of the Danville police, this suspect could have killed the police officer with his car, or an innocent bystander on the sidewalk near by, or someone else in a vehicle down the road. The last thing this police officer wanted to do was to use deadly force, but due to the bad choices of the suspect it was the correct option.

Moreover, why do you suppose the suspect refused the lawful command of the police to stop, and then sped off in his car, actually trying to hit the police officer in order to get away? Clearly, he either had outstanding warrants for other criminal acts, or had just committed a criminal act, and was willing to risk his and everyone else's safety to avoid the consequences of his prior actions.

In San Francisco, Berkeley, and Oakland, they like to blame the police when criminals create these type of situations. But Danville, we are better than that. We support our law enforcement brothers and sisters, realize they have such a difficult and stressful job, and they risk their lives every tour to protect the lives of complete strangers from harm and danger.

It is a tragedy that this suspect died, but his own actions caused the tragedy, not the police. If the police did not act we would have had more lives at stake, innocent lives.

Thank you Danville police, and God bless you.

Posted by Joe
a resident of Danville
on Nov 4, 2018 at 7:54 am

Thank you Danville PD

Posted by Citizen
a resident of Danville
on Nov 4, 2018 at 4:17 pm

Thank you to the “American” post. I couldn’t have stated it better! We don’t consider the horrible situation an officer is facing when they are forced to save a life by taking another criminal or not.

Posted by K
a resident of another community
on Nov 4, 2018 at 6:28 pm

totally with 'american' on this one. well put.

Posted by Mark
a resident of Danville
on Nov 5, 2018 at 6:33 am

I no longer view the police with out some doubt. To many officer involved shootings have been determined with video to be the fault of the officer. Before video all officer involved shooting were justified. Now I wait until body cam and car video is reviewed. Danville police are not without their skeletons in the closet from past investigations into corruption.

Posted by Greg T
a resident of Diablo
on Nov 5, 2018 at 6:49 am

@American. Well said! We totally agree! And thank you Danville Police for being so extra vigilant and keeping us safe. You can't try to kill a police officer and not be shot at. The officer has a right to defend his own life and that of the public. Thank goodness this is NOT San Francisco Berkeley or Oakland! maybe this will go to go to these out of area criminals that you don't come here to try to ply your trade, that they let you get away with in the afore mentioned cities.

Posted by Citizen
a resident of Danville
on Nov 5, 2018 at 7:12 am

I think being a cop is such a hard job. Even in Danville, it can be hard such as times like this. Tom and Mark have a right to their opinion, but it is a scary thing that the first thing some people do is judge or criticize the police when these incidents happen. How about putting the responsibility on the right person? And that person is the one who decided to try to run over the officer.

Yes it would be great if there were no more officer involved shootings, but that really will never be the case. It would also be great if every officer in the US had a Navy Seal level of skill and could shoot guns out of people's hands and all that, but that is not the case either. They are just a bunch of normal people trying to stay alive doing a really hard job. Sure there are bad apples, but the overwhelming majority are honorable, upstanding people that we should be thanking and supporting.

Imagine having to go home and tell your wife and kids that you were forced to take a life to save your own. Do you think that would be easy? Don't you think that will stay with the officer for the rest of his life even when he was in the right? I do.

Posted by Westside Dave
a resident of Danville
on Nov 5, 2018 at 7:44 am

Couldn't have said it better American. Agree 100%. I walk across that bridge every day. Innocents could have been seriously injured or killed due to the poor decision making of one individual. Thank you Danville PD, we support you here.

Posted by Nancy
a resident of Blackhawk
on Nov 5, 2018 at 8:50 am

I've lived here all my life and I am amazed at the pick up in crime. Thank you to the Danville PD for keeping us safe. It is unfortunate that the suspect refused to stop and cooperate with law enforcement, putting his own life on the line.

Posted by Dan
a resident of Danville
on Nov 5, 2018 at 10:45 am


I agree that body cameras are good for the perpetrators but also for the police as well.

Perhaps you could enlighten me regarding investigations regarding corruption and the Danville PD. Just what are you talking about?

BTW did these supposed investigations result in any charges?

Posted by Mark
a resident of Danville
on Nov 5, 2018 at 11:30 am

Google "Danville divorce corruption case" . A little scary that the supervision did not expose the officer. It had connections to narcotic officers also.

Posted by Alan
a resident of another community
on Nov 5, 2018 at 11:48 am

The shooting is a very sad situation. We put the police officer in this predicament and he had to act accordingly. The young man didn't have a criminal record but was very troubled. His neighbors in Newark had some concerns with his actions and had called police many times recently. They couldn't do much till he did something illegal. But in our society mental health is not addressed properly and it is all our responsibility to get our politicians and health care professionals to finally come up with a workable solution. Many actions by individuals could be prevented with proper help from others. As we thought in Newark, it was only time when something would happen to create a tragedy and that happened in your town.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Danville
on Nov 5, 2018 at 2:07 pm

Thank you Danville PD for the job you do every day.

Posted by Concerned citizen
a resident of Danville
on Nov 6, 2018 at 7:29 am

There are sure a lot of assumptions and judgments here. I know three things. First, residents reported the suspect appeared disoriented, and his actions bear that out. That implies impaired capacity of some kind, whether from mental illness, substance use, etc. I have seen enough in life to have compassion for such circumstances, and they do not sacrifice ones right to life. Second, he took no threatening actions except the alleged attempt to run over an officer. Third, photos of the vehicle show eight shots all fired through the far PASSENGER side of the front window, some as far as the opposite corner post. Simple geometry shows that to hit the driver through the far PASSENGER side of the window, the officer had to be at least 45 degrees or more to the SIDE of the car. That means, at least at the time he shot and killed the suspect, the officer was not apparently in danger of being run over. He might have been earlier, and might have been scared. But...

Posted by American
a resident of Danville
on Nov 6, 2018 at 7:58 am

"Concerned Citizen": You actually noted that the suspect "took no threatening actions except the alleged attempt to run over the officer". I have been to police officer funerals, seen the faces of their spouses and children, and let me make it clear to you that Blue Lives Matter! Your comment suggest that since it was only a police officer whose life was at stake it does not matter. It matters.

Moreover, assuming your hypothetical to be correct, that the suspect was on drugs or out of his mind for other reasons, why do you assume that if he got away that suddenly he would become a safe and careful driver and not endanger the lives of people on sidewalks or other drivers on the road? What if your wife or daughter was driving nearby and suddenly this wonderful suspect crashed his car into their vehicle and took their life? Let me guess, you would be hiring an ambulance chasing lawyer and suing the police for not getting this guy off the road before he hurt someone else.

As reported, the Newark Police had been called on this guy several times before, as he was looking in windows, and loitering around stranger's homes. His actions appeared to be escalating, meaning it was only a matter of time before he went further, and started hurting people. That's exactly what happened, as he used his vehicle as a deadly weapon and tried to kill the police officer. Do you honestly believe if this guy had no concern in trying to kill a police officer he would have any concern in running over an innocent person a block, or a mile away?

Finally, you are not an certified Accident Reconstruction expert, or a Human Factors expert, you have not reviewed all the actual evidence, and I will leave the actual physics and math to the real experts who do this for a living and will review all the evidence, and not some guy who thinks since it was only a police officer's life at stake that it does not matter.

Posted by Carl
a resident of Danville
on Nov 6, 2018 at 10:34 am

Wow what a reaction to some valid points of "Concerned citizen". Your rant attempts to define what type of person "Concerned citizen" must be because he questions police. "Concerned citizen" improves society. The Catholic church would still be abusing children if no one asked questions.

Posted by BIW
a resident of Danville
on Nov 6, 2018 at 11:23 am

BIW is a registered user.

The tipping point here is whether or not the officer's life was threatened. Gunshot holes at angles don't imply that his life wasn't being threatened- if the officer was in front of the car at an angle then the officer might have had reason to think that the car could have swerved towards him. If the shots came from the back then I don't think that self-defense could be raised as a valid reason, imo. But what could be raised as a defense is if it was felt that the car would have endangered others had it gotten away. We just don't know without knowing more facts (speed, position of other people and cars, etc.). Anyone claiming at this point that the officer's life was or was not threatened is premature, and it is an opinion and not based on the facts, obviously.

I would think, however, that we are all in agreement that an objective investigation is warranted any time someone is killed, be it an innocent bystander or suspected criminal.

Posted by dcp123
a resident of another community
on Nov 6, 2018 at 3:03 pm

dcp123 is a registered user.

The statement by investigators that the suspect "hit the gas and attempted to run over Hall" prejudges one of the key issues here and, in my opinion, is probably wrong.

This guy was seen behaving oddly and when police came, he fled. He pulled over twice and each time drove away when police got out of their cars. The third time he stopped, police blocked his car and he tried to drive away again. He apparently drove towards an officer on foot, but it seems to make a lot more sense to think that he was trying to get away, as he had done the two previous times, than that he was trying to murder a police officer.

If the officer believed his life was in danger and that belief was somewhat reasonable, he won't be prosecuted, but this looks to me like a situation where someone was probably killed unnecessarily.

Do the Danville Police Department and Contra Costa Sheriff's Department have policies on when officers should pursue a fleeing suspect? Because pursuits can often result in deaths or injuries of suspects, police, and bystanders, well-run departments have policies about these things, although they might not apply to a low-speed pursuit. This guy was seen behaving oddly. At the time they arrived on the scene, it would have been appropriate to talk to him, but the officers had no reason to believe any crime had been committed. Why was he pursued?

If, as Concerned Citizen says, the bullet holes were in the passenger side of the windshield and close to the A pillar on the passenger side, that is extremely suggestive that shots were fired at a time when the officer was in no danger of being hit. Stand in front of your car and see how far to the side you have to be to draw a straight line from you to the driver's seat that passes through the far right side of the windshield.

I strongly suspect that this officer thought that his life was in danger. I also strongly suspect that he could have done more to protect his safety by stepping away from the vehicle's path than by firing his weapon. Our police are trained to use their guns to resolve every dangerous situation that is wrong.

Unless the officer's life was truly in danger and there was no less deadly way to protect him, this guy, who as far as we know did nothing wrong before he fled from the police, was killed unnecessarily. That's not at all the same thing as saying that the officer committed murder or manslaughter. That is judged by what the officer knew and reasonably believed at the time he started shooting and while he continued shooting.

I'm not saying this is what happened, but it is entirely possible that the officer reasonably believed that his life was in danger, had better options to protect his own life, like jumping out of the way, didn't think of them, started shooting when he still reasonably believed his life was in danger and continued shooting after he could not have reasonably believed that his life was in danger. I have never shot at anyone, but I understand that, once the decision has been made to fire, it is not unusual for someone to continue shooting even when the danger that provoked them to shoot in the first place has passed.

Under those circumstances, the officer would almost certainly not be prosecuted and probably rightfully not, but better training and better judgment might have resolved this situation with nobody being killed or even hurt.

A suspicious individual report, even one followed by a suspect not stopping when asked to doesn't merit shooting somebody or even creating a situation where they might have to shoot somebody.

The guy was probably high. They could have let him go and used the license plate and description of the guy to find him later. 90% of the time, they'd probably find the right guy and get to question him about what they hell he was doing. 10% of the time they wouldn't and they would never get to the bottom of this particular suspicious individual report. If the guy was burglarizing houses, he might have disposed of the stolen goods and get away with it. That would be better than killing somebody before knowing if they had done anything worse than failing to obey police out of fear.

Posted by dcp123
a resident of another community
on Nov 6, 2018 at 3:06 pm

dcp123 is a registered user.

The fact that nobody has mentioned body cameras or dashcams is pretty telling. If those were present, there would be less chance of the police paying big on a settlement in proper shooting and a heck of a lot less chance of an officer getting away with a bad shooting. All sides are better off when the police do such a simple thing to preserve objective evidence. When a department doesn't, I wonder what they don't want to know.

Posted by Mark
a resident of Danville
on Nov 9, 2018 at 7:46 am

Bad call by the policeman. After shooting the driver the car continued down the street. This is why most police never shoot into a vehicle. The officer created a extreme threat to the public. Three thousand plus pounds of steel with a dead driver at the wheel. Yet the officer was not struck so he was not in the path of the vehicle.

Danville police should be rotated out of the peaceful community so they have more experience doing police work beside writing tickets. I know that a police chase down Camino Tassajara resulted in the car being split in half. Luckily no one died but it is clear that Danville police lack the common sense to break off the chase early to protect the public. Police are their to protect the public not to apprehend at all cost.

Posted by Dickita P
a resident of Alamo
on Nov 16, 2018 at 11:10 am

Just wanted to check in with my authority-loving neighbors - what's the best way to get the taste of bootheel out of your mouth? Listerine? Or just dive on in and keep licking more boots?

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