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1524 10 months ago
1524 10 months ago
Shooting is at 23:46
The Butte County District Attorney’s Office released police bodycam footage of the deadly officer-involved shooting at the Chico Petco on Oct. 14.
The final report cleared the three officers involved of any criminal wrongdoing-- they are officers Tyler Johnson, William Page and Sergeant Nick Bauer.
The report also ruled that the use of deadly force was justified when police shot and killed 30-year-old Stephen Vest, who was coming towards officers with a knife after threatening multiple people during a bizarre crime spree.
The newly-released bodycam footage shows a side-by-side perspective from officers Tyler Johnson and William Page before officers opened fire and killed the suspect.
In the video, Officer Page can be heard saying “Drop the knife now!” as he confronts the knife-wielding man who was threatening a Petco employee and truck driver in the parking lot.
The officers then rushed into the store—guns drawn—as Vest disappeared down the long hallway and continued to chase the employee and driver through the store—still armed with a knife.
“He’s around the corner. He’s running that way go, go, go,” officer Page said as police rushed to get shoppers and employees to safety.
The two men who were being chased then ran out the front entrance to Petco, still being chased by Vest.
The employee and truck driver ran behind officers as Vest ran out the door and into the parking lot—still armed with a knife.
That's when the armed suspect started walking towards officers Tyler Johnson, William Page and Sergeant Nick Bauer.
As Vest approached the officer, they shouted for him to drop the knife multiple times while backing away from the suspect. The report then describes the moments leading up the deadly shooting:
Vest continued his “determined” forward motion toward the uniformed officers with the knife displayed forward toward them, ignoring their repeated commands to stop and drop the knife as they pointed their firearms at him. The officers at the same time began to give ground to Vest and move backwards in the parking lot while still facing Vest. Officer Page shot his Taser weapon and saw the probes go out and contact Vest. However, the weapon did not stop Vest and he continued forward at the officers still with the knife in hand. As the officers ran out of room and time to go further back, Sgt. Bauer and Officer Johnson opened fire with their semi-automatic pistols for approximately two seconds at approximately 7:57 p.m. Officer Johnson fired nine times and Sgt. Bauer fired two times. Vest fell forward and the officers moved forward to kick the knife from his hand and render medical aid. Vest however did not survive and responding medics declared him deceased at the scene.
The report concluded that the officers reasonably believed, based on the totality of the circumstances” involved that night, that deadly force was necessary “to defend against an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury to the officer or to another person.”