DA’s Office finds tribal police acted appropriately
The officers who shot an armed robbery suspect as he was fleeing the Salmon Festival in Klamath in August have been cleared by the District Attorney’s Office of any wrongdoing.
The shootings occurred after Yurok Tribal Officer Joshua Davis and Yurok Tribal Warden Michael Gabber identified a stolen vehicle that was taken after Eureka resident Zachary Scott, 33, allegedly robbed a Subway restaurant on the north side of Crescent City at gunpoint Aug. 17.
Scott, who was in the car, allegedly sped toward the officers, striking one of them before fleeing toward the Klamath Bridge, hijacking another vehicle and getting away.
The officers shot at Scott as he was fleeing near a pedestrian gate of the festival.
Scott was apprehended in Brookings 10 days later, but not before eluding authorities in Eureka. He had led Brookings authorities on a high speed chase before his car broken down.
“Based on the applicable legal standards, it’s the opinion of the District Attorney’s Office that the shooting was justifiable in self defense and necessary to apprehend the suspect or prevent escape,” said Assistant District Attorney Katherine Micks. “No criminal liability attaches to the conduct of the officers.”
The fact the shooting occurred in a heavily populated area doesn’t change the analysis, Micks said.
“There’s different factors you look at to see if use of force was reasonable,” said Micks. “The factors don’t change just because it occurred in public.”
She declined to comment further, citing Scott’s ongoing case.
Scott faces attempted murder charges and a slew of others including burglary, armed-robbery and carjacking, theft with a credit car, grand theft, criminal conspiracy, being a felon in possession of a firearm, auto theft, petty theft and grand theft.
Those charges are related to the Aug. 17 armed robbery and the incidents that followed, as well as an Aug. 16 burglary from a vehicle outside Elk Valley Casino.
His preliminary hearing is set for Oct. 15.