HCSO Officer to Return to Duty after Investigation
Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Downey held a news conference today in the early afternoon concerning Saturday’s officer-involved shooting of a fleeing suspect’s vehicle.
This is the summary of what he told the press in attendance in a prepared statement:
The deputy involved in the officer-involved shooting has been cleared to return to full duty. Sheriff Downey made the decision to return four-year veteran deputy Conan Moore, 31-years-old, to full duty after speaking with Critical Incident Response Team (C.I.R.T.) Investigators and the Humboldt County District Attorneys’ Office.
Sheriff Downey believes Deputy Moore’s actions were lawful and within policy.
C.I.R.T. Investigators continue with their investigation into this incident.
On January 23, a search warrant issued by Humboldt County Superior Court was served on the vehicle that (Elliot Michael) Walin was driving (and that the Deputy shot at).
When members of the C.I.R.T. searched the vehicle they located:
- A loaded .380 semi-auto handgun between the seats,
- A sawed off shotgun in the rear of the car,
- And suspected methamphetamine.
Additional charges against Walin are being sought.
These were the details of the incident previously given by the HCSO in their release:
On January 19, 2013, at approximately 4:15 a.m., a Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office deputy driving a marked patrol car was southbound on Thompkins Hill road when he saw black 2002 Honda two door hatchback driving erratically and over the double yellow line.
The deputy attempted a traffic stop on the Honda, but the vehicle failed to stop.
The deputy initiated a pursuit and followed the Honda which turned onto Hookton Road, then south on Eel River Drive reaching speeds up to 65 mph. When the reached Loleta it attempted to turn onto Loleta Drive where it spun out of control causing it to strike the curb.
The male driver then drove at the deputy who discharged his duty weapon at the vehicle, striking it.
The Honda ran over the deputy’s foot as it fled the deputy again. The deputy re-initiated a pursuit of the vehicle which was now southbound on Eel River Drive. The Honda lost control at Eel River and Copenhagen Road, Loleta, running off the road.
The male driver fled the car still holding the handgun and the female passenger also exited the Honda. They both ran off on foot in separate
Additional law enforcement arrived on scene and a perimeter was established. A Eureka Police K-9 arrived to assist with the search of the area.
The K-9 located Elliott Michael Walin, 29-years-old, from Fortuna hiding in a nearby drainage and covered in mud. Walin was wanted on a no-bail probation violation warrant and was arrested on that warrant, along with new charges of:
- Attempted murder
- Assault with a deadly weapon
- Resisting/obstructing an executive officer
- Evading a police officer
- Resisting arrest
Prior to be transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility, Walin was transported to a local hospital where he was treated and released for the dog bite wounds sustained from the K-9.
He is being held without bail in the Humboldt County Correctional Facility.
Deputies located Jill Deanna Winnop, 35-years-old and from Fortuna, hiding in bushes nearby. She was arrested for resisting arrest. She was booked into the
Humboldt County Correctional Facility. Her bail set at
Walin and Winnop were not struck or injured by the deputy’s gunfire, only the vehicle they were driving was hit.
The deputy was transported to a different hospital and was treated and released for an injury to his foot. He is expected to make a full recovery.
The deputy was been placed on Administrative Leave which is standard protocol when they have been involved in an on-duty use of deadly force. The Humboldt County Critical Incident Response Team (C.I.R.T.) was activated to investigate this shooting.
Investigators from the Eureka Police Department, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and Humboldt County District Attorneys Office are investigating this incident.
Investigators were at the scene of the crime searching the fields for the firearm which Walin had– and has not been recovered as of yet.
Walin was recently released from California State Prison due to prison realignment (AB109). He was on Parole Revocation Community Supervision and
was wanted for violating those terms.
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UPDATE: Readers may be interested in knowing Mr. Walin’s prior history and sentencing contained in the comments below.
(Posted by Skippy Massey)