Sacramento County, CA – The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday released dashcam video and witness statements from an attack on a deputy in 2017 that resulted in the death of 32-year-old Mikel McIntyre (video below).
The incident occurred shortly before 7 p.m. on May 8, 2017 after Sacramento County sheriff’s deputies responded to a 911 call about a man choking a woman and trying to pull her out of a vehicle, the Sacramento Bee reported.
Deputies arrived on the scene and encountered McIntyre and his mother, Brigett, who had been out shopping together when witnesses saw the son attack his mother in the parking lot of a department store.
It turned out this was the second call about McIntyre that deputies had responded to the same day, the Sacramento Bee reported.
EMS had also responded separately to that address for a call about an emotionally-disturbed individual.
McIntyre’s mother said she had tried twice that day to have her son placed on an involuntary psychiatric hold but both deputies and medical personnel said McIntyre did not meet the criteria for such an action, the Sacramento Bee reported.
The family said they used pepper spray to keep him away from them, according to the inspector general’s report, but then later in the day Brigett got into a car with McIntyre and went shopping.
A witness at the scene told investigators that he saw “a white cop and a black male struggling by the fence” after the first deputy arrived on the scene.
“I could tell the officer was trying to arrest the guy and he said ‘Get down!’ but the guy didn’t comply,” according to the witness. “The black guy kind of broke free and then picked up a big rock or piece of concrete and hit the officer in the head and chest with it.”
McIntyre struck the first deputy to arrive on the scene, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeff Wright, in the head with a river rock the size of a football, the Sacramento Bee reported.
“The rock was about the size of a football. The officer fell down and the black guy started running [south],” the witness told investigators. “I think the officer fired two shots at the black guy but I don’t think he hit him because he didn’t even break stride.”
That’s when a good Samaritan stopped his vehicle to help, “thinking that the deputy may need assistance,” according to the Sacramento Bee.
“I have my California Concealed Weapons permit so I thought I would help the deputy if he needed me to,” that witness said.
The good Samaritan said he saw Deputy Wright chasing McIntyre and later heard two gunshots, the Sacramento Bee reported.
When he caught up with the law enforcement officer, the witness said Deputy Wright’s head was bleeding badly and he was down on one knee.
“The deputy was bleeding heavily from the head injury,” the good Samaritan said, according to documents obtained by the Sacramento Bee. “The deputy asked me to assist him by retrieving towels from a nearby business.”
He said he ran into Hooters and got towels.
Another witness who saw the events unfold said he watched McIntyre throw a football-sized rock at Deputy Wright from about 10 yards away and hit the deputy in the head.
“I was close enough to where the deputy was that I heard the deputy say ‘oh my god’ after being struck with the rock,” the witness told investigators.
Documents obtained by the Sacramento Bee showed the witness said McIntyre picked up a second rock at that point and that witnesses began yelling at him because they thought he was going to hurl it at Deputy Wright.
“I noticed that the deputy was covered in blood and was disoriented,” the witness said.
He told investigators he heard Deputy Wright yell at the “angry” and “aggressive” suspect to “stop running” three times before he fired at him, according to the Sacramento Bee.
Deputy Wright described the terrifying moment he was hit with the enormous rock as “immediately things went very quiet.”
“… At that point I just kept telling myself, you got to get up, you got to get up, you got to get up, you don’t know where he is, you got to get up you are not going to lay here and die,” the deputy told internal affairs investigators after the incident, the Sacramento Bee reported.
He said he lost sight of McIntyre as he bled profusely from his head injury.
Bystanders ran up to offer aid and asked if Deputy Wright was okay, and he told them he wasn’t, the Sacramento Bee reported.
Other deputies took up the pursuit of McIntyre at that point.
Sacramento County Deputy Gabriel Rodriguez said he opened fire on McIntyre from 25 to 40 feet away after the suspect lobbed a rock at another deputy, the Sacramento Bee reported.
The deputy told investigators he believed McIntyre was “a danger to both law enforcement and the public” because of the attacks on his mother and Deputy Wright.
“I think that we would have had a situation where somebody else was gonna get injured,” Deputy Rodriguez said.
McIntyre threw another rock at Sacramento County Deputy Ken Becker that the deputy described as looking “like it was coming right at my head,” the Sacramento Bee reported.
“I thought he was trying to kill me,” Deputy Becker said.
He told investigators that he fired at the fleeing suspect because he was afraid McIntyre was going to hurt more people, according to the Sacramento Bee.
”It was just complete disregard for anybody’s safety,” Deputy Becker said. “This isn’t going to stop unless he gets stopped.”
Deputies fired a total of 28 rounds at McIntyre as he fled, striking him seven times, the Sacramento Bee reported.
The newly-released dashcam video of the incident began with McIntyre running down the side of a highway overpass on the right side of the screen.
In the video, the suspect appeared to throw something as he ran down the hill to the side of the highway at full speed.
Gunshots can be heard in the video although McIntyre did not appear to have been hit, nor did he slow down initially, the video showed.
Dashcam videos from multiple police and sheriff’s deputies’ vehicles at different angles showed that when McIntyre still failed to stop and comply with commands, deputies released a police K9 to stop him.
The video showed the K9 took McIntyre to the ground and then multiple deputies converged on him.
In the video, the K9 handler disengaged the dog from the suspect while six other deputies and officers struggled to handcuff McIntyre, who continued to resist arrest.
McIntyre was transported to University of California – Davis Medical Center where he died.
He had been shot in the back, the right arm, the left forearm, the right thigh, the left thigh, the head, and the left hand before he was ultimately stopped by the police K9, the Sacramento Bee reported.
His mother told investigators afterward that her son had been “severely depressed and stressed lately but I don’t know why.”
Along with the dashcam video shared on May 28, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones released the files from the internal affairs investigation of the McIntyre incident that concluded the shooting was “appropriate, justified and within policy.”
However, in August of 2018, Sacramento County Inspector General Rick Braziel called the shooting “excessive, unnecessary,” for using too many bullets.
Braziel, a former Sacramento police chief, said that law enforcement’s actions in the incident put citizens at risk, according to the Sacramento Bee.
His report said that there was enough distance between McIntyre and the deputies pursing him “where options existed to avoid the additional use of deadly force,” the Sacramento Bee reported.
“The distance in this situation was enough to allow the officers to react to any new threats of a rock thrown without placing themselves or others in jeopardy,” Braziel wrote. “When McIntyre was close, and armed with a rock in his hand ready to throw, he was an imminent threat of great bodily harm or death. As the distance between McIntyre and the deputies increased, the risk of serious injury or death decreased, and with it, the need for deadly force.”
Police officers are legally allowed to shoot fleeing suspects when there’s probable cause that that they committed a crime that endangers lives.
The former police chief made 16 policy change recommendations for the sheriff’s department in his report, according to the Sacramento Bee.
Sheriff Jones dismissed Braziel’s assessment and maintained that his deputies did nothing wrong.
He later locked the inspector general out of the sheriff’s department prompting protests, but then Braziel’s contract with the county expired and the position remained vacant until December of 2018.
The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office also investigated the officer-involved shooting and agreed with Sheriff Jones, the Sacramento Bee reported.
Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert’s office determined that the deputies’ actions and use of force against McIntyre were “justified.”
In January, Sacramento County settled a wrongful-death lawsuit with McIntyre’s family for more than $1.7 million, the Sacramento Bee reported.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. WARNING – Graphic Content: