Stockton, CA – The gunman accused of murdering Stockton Police Officer Jimmy Inn and trying to strangle his own eight-year-old son to death in front of another officer was a parolee who had previously been convicted of a firearms offense.
Police said convicted felon Lance Lowe fatally shot Officer Inn multiple times after the officer knocked on his front door on May 11.
Officer Inn, 30, had been responding to a report of a domestic disturbance.
According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), Lowe was convicted in Los Angeles County of grand theft auto with the use of a firearm in 2018 and was sentenced to five years in prison, KOVR reported.
He was also charged with possession of an assault weapon, carrying a loaded firearm in a car or public place, conspiring to commit a crime, and child endangerment in connection with the same incident, but those charges were ultimately dismissed, The Record reported.
The CDCR said Lowe was given 820 pre-sentencing credits and 37 post-sentencing credits, resulting in him being paroled in April of 2020, according to KOVR.
During his stint in prison, Lowe was found guilty of disobeying a direct order on two occasions, not meeting program/work expectations on two other occasions, and misusing a telephone once, KXTV reported.
The chain of events that led up to Officer Inn’s murder began at approximately 9:45 a.m. on May 11, when the Stockton Dispatch Center received a call for help at a home located in the 4400-block of La Cresta Way, SPD Chief Eric Jones said during a press conference later in the day.
It is with great sadness that we announce Officer Jimmy Inn was shot & killed in the line of duty while on a DV call this morning. The suspect was also shot & killed by another SPD officer. Officer Inn was hired in 2015 & was a member of our honor guard. #NeverForget pic.twitter.com/IGr6RpVvEt
— Stockton Police Dept (@StocktonPolice) May 12, 2021
The caller said someone was screaming and that they saw a woman with a ripped shirt who was bleeding and looked as if someone had assaulted her, Chief Jones said.
Officer Inn arrived at the residence at 10:07 a.m. and knocked on the front door, at which point someone inside said “hey – police,” according to KOVR.
Lowe opened the front door and immediately shot Officer Inn repeatedly, police said.
Chief Jones described the attack as “violent, blatant, and very sudden assault.”
SPD Officer Pancho Freer arrived at the home just as the attack occurred, KOVR reported.
He said he heard the gunfire and saw the shooter standing over Officer Inn with a gun in his hand, police said.
Lowe started shooting at Officer Freer, hitting his patrol vehicle, at which point Officer Freer returned fire, KOVR reported.
Lowe then went back into the house and emerged a moment later holding his eight-year-old son by the neck, police said.
“The suspect began to strangle the child in front of our officer and refused to comply with the officer’s commands,” Chief Jones told reporters. “Indications are that the suspect was attempting to kill the child.”
As Officer Freer approached Lowe, a community member ran up and tackled the suspect to the ground, at which point the officer “discharged his duty weapon, striking the suspect,” the chief said.
Lowe later died from his wounds at a local hospital.
Kaycie McClure said she ran to Officer Inn from her home across the street after the shooting and desperately tried to help him, KOVR reported.
“I don’t know who, but another man helped me flip him over and I tried my hardest. I was looking for holes, I was trying to get his vest off,” McClure tearfully recounted. “I was just begging him to hang on, hang on, hang on, ‘they’re coming.’”
Officer Inn was rushed to a local hospital, where he died from his gunshot wounds, Chief Jones confirmed.
McClure told KOVR that Officer Inn is a true hero.
“It was just an awful situation but the real hero today was Officer Inn,” she said. “He gave his whole entire life coming to try and help somebody else.”
Lowe’s son was examined and cleared by medical personnel, KOVR reported.
Chief Jones said Officer Inn “died protecting those who cannot protect themselves.”
“[He] came to work every day, putting his life on the line for complete strangers he never met, coming to work to protect members of our community and knowing it is a dangerous job,” the chief continued. “He gave the ultimate sacrifice.”
Officer Inn joined the SPD in December of 2015, and was serving in the Field Operations Division at the time of his murder.
He was also a member of the department’s honor guard.
“[He was] the epitome of what a Stockton police officer should be,” Chief Jones said.
Officer Inn leaves behind his wife, Tela, who also serves as an SPD officer, Chief Jones said.
He is also survived by his seven-month-old son, 12-year-old stepdaughter, and 14-year-old stepson.