Two SWAT officers with the Sacramento police department shot and killed 19-year-old Darell Richards after they say he pointed a gun at them early Thursday morning. It was later discovered that the Richards was holding a pellet gun.
Police spokesman Sgt. Vance Chandler told the Sacramento Bee “At the time, he posed an immediate threat to officers, and two SWAT officers fired on the suspect.” The suspect’s name has not been released at this time.
The Sacramento Police Department released a 911 call as well as a media advisory explaining the incident. According to the Sacramento Bee, officers responded to a 911 call about a “suspicious subject walking with a mask and a gun” at 11:32 p.m. The 911 caller said was wearing a mask, a black ‘hoodie’, grey pants, and carrying a black backpack. The caller also indicated that the man had pointed a gun at numerous people.
When police found Richards, he allegedly ignored commands to show his hands and hopped over a fence onto a property.
“For the safety of everyone involved, and based on the suspect being armed, officers on scene immediately set up a perimeter to contain the suspect. SWAT and K9 Teams responded to continue the search,” the department said in its release.
Police said the SWAT and K9 units arrived at 12:42 a.m., and they developed a tactical plan and began to search for the Richards again at 1:36 a.m.
He was discovered hiding under a stairwell in the backyard of an occupied home at 3:12 a.m. Police say he had a gun in his hand, and when they ordered him to drop it, he pointed it at them. The officers fired at the suspect, then rendered medical aid until paramedics arrived and took over. Richards was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to the Bee, this is the third confirmed deadly officer-involved shooting in Sacramento County this year so far. In April, a 26-year-old man was killed during a confrontation at a hotel in Elk Grove.
In March, officers shot and killed 22-year-old Stephon Clark as he stood in the backyard of his grandmother’s home. Those officers said they thought Clark was holding a gun, but it turned out to only be a cellphone.
The police department said in a media release that because the shooting falls under the City Council policy on Police Use of Force, audio and video from the incident will be released to the public within 30 days.
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