Categorized | Crime, Eel River Valley, Local

Sheriff: Officer-Involved Shooting Justified

 

HCSO Officer to Return to Duty after Investigation

 

–Updated Below–

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

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.

car bulletThe deputy exited his vehicle to apprehend the occupants. When the deputy exited his patrol vehicle he saw the male driver had a handgun in his hand.

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
directions.

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 arrestcar bullet3

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
$10,000.00.

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.

car bullet2The 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.

* * * * * * * * *

UPDATE:  Readers may be interested in knowing Mr. Walin’s prior history and sentencing contained in the comments below.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

3 Responses to “Sheriff: Officer-Involved Shooting Justified”

  1. bmasson says:

    Lets see early release prisoner on parole felon with fire arms and more then a few drugs in the car thanks law enforcement this could have been a lot worse for the communities had you not got this guy off the streets .As a side note looks like gun control would just make criminals out of those of us that want to protect ourselves this just goes to show you the criminals will find the guns anyway.The guy was lucky the criminal in anderson shot by c.h.p. will not be joining him in prison .

  2. skippy says:

    Mr. Walin has a lengthy criminal history. He served two prior prison terms: one for unlawful taking of a vehicle in 2003, and the other for unlawful possession of ammunition in 2005.

    He’s also no stranger to the HCSO.

    Humboldt County Deputy Sheriff Joseph Jager testified that in March of 2007 he was called to Zanone Road in Eureka to investigate a report of a stolen vehicle and shots fired. When deputy Jager arrived, the resident of the property told him that he was woken up by the sound of a truck being started on the property. When he went outside he saw Mr. Walin backing a truck out of his driveway. The resident ran to the truck and broke the windshield with a baseball bat he had brought with him. When he attempted to open the passenger side door, Walin fired a shotgun at Morris, shattering the door window. Walin then drove the truck away.

    Another resident, the owner of the truck who was awokened by the gunshot, told officer Jager that he had not given Walin permission to drive the truck.

    Later, after obtaining Walin’s address from his parole agent, Rio Dell Police Officer Timothy Dias and other officers went to Cedar Street, where Walin lived, and were given permission by the owner of the property to enter the property.

    In the backyard, Officer Dias met Walin’s wife or girlfriend, who lived with him. After Dias told her the officers were there to search for him, she permitted the officers to enter.

    Walin was found in a bedroom hiding under a blanket. A sawed-off shotgun was found close by under a coat on the bed. Two shells for the gun were found in a pocket of the coat. Another one was found in Walin’s pants pocket.

    Walin was arrested and charged with eight felony counts:

    *Attempted murder with use of a gun
    *Second degree robbery with the use of a gun
    *Being a felon in possession of a gun
    *Being a felon in possession of ammunition
    *Possessing a dangerous weapon
    *Assault with a firearm with personal gun use
    *Being a felon in possession of a gun
    *Unlawful taking of a vehicle with a prior conviction for the same offense

    Appearing in court, Mr. Walin rejected a prior sentencing offer from the prosecution. All parties then agreed to a negotiated disposition.

    After an additional prior prison term enhancement was added to the information, Mr. Walin waived his right to trial and entered a plea of guilty to two counts and the admitted three prior prison terms.

    The District Attorney dismissed all other counts and special allegations.

    Mr. Walin received a negotiated prison term of six years and eight months with 117 days of credit for time served and good behavior while in jail.

    Once he was released from prison, Mr. Walin didn’t last long. He reoffended in short order.

    We are now led to Mr. Walin’s present matter and the current felony offenses of: attempted murder on a peace officer; assault with a deadly weapon; evasion and resisting; further firearm offenses; suspected possession of methamphetamine; and his violation of probation/parole warrant, among others.

    This is only what we know of. There may be more that has yet come to light.

    Sounds like Mr. Walin’s time– and his three strikes– were up a long time ago. Like aging a fine wine, Mr. Walin should not be released before his time.

    Let’s hope District Attorney Gallegos doesn’t dismiss Mr. Walin’s counts and special allegations for a watered-down negotiated disposition this time around, either.

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