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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sheriff says 19-year-old shot by Redding police had criminal past

6-26-2012 California:

Officers remain on paid leave as details emerge

The 19-year-old man who was shot and killed by Redding police last week had an extensive criminal background, Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko said Monday.

Scott Joseph Deen's record included resisting arrest, burglary, drug charges and a sexual assault warrant in Montana.

But Deen was not on parole or probation when he was shot, Bosenko said at an afternoon news conference called to release the man's identity.

Preliminary autopsy results show Deen died from a gunshot wound to the chest after a "life-and-death" struggle with four police officers in the area of Canyon and Valley View roads in south Redding early Friday, Bosenko said.

Bosenko also revealed that two shots were fired during the struggle, and only one hit Deen.

"According to witnesses, Deen's struggle with the officers was extremely violent, placing the officers' lives in harm's way," Bosenko said.

Investigators believe Deen and two other men were siphoning gasoline from cars parked in the neighborhood off Highway 273 near Win-River Casino.

Officers used a stun gun at least twice on Deen after he came at them with a knife, Bosenko said.

Not fazed by the stun gun, Deen tried to stab an officer with a knife that was attached to his hand with an elastic bandage before a police supervisor fired two rounds, striking Deen once, Bosenko said.

Deen then ran away. Officers found him about 700 feet from where he was shot. He collapsed when he was caught and died after CPR was unsuccessful, Bosenko said.

Although the sheriff's office on Friday reported three Redding officers were at the shooting scene, Bosenko said Monday there actually were four.

Redding Police Chief Robert Paoletti said he will wait until next week after the investigation and interviews are expected to be completed to release the names of the officers involved. He did say they had a combined 35 years of experience on the force.

"So we are talking about very tenured officers that were involved in a very difficult situation," Paoletti said.

The officers are doing well and are handling "the gravity of the situation like true professionals," Paoletti said.

All the officers are on routine paid administrative leave during the investigation.

Bosenko declined to release the names of the other two suspects because of the ongoing investigation. Both men live in Shasta County and one had a warrant for failure to complete a sheriff's work program, authorities said.

Deen had moved to Montana from Shasta County but recently had returned to the area for unknown reasons, Bosenko said. He also alleged Deen was a member of a local gang, but would not identify the gang.

Bosenko also would not elaborate on Deen's criminal background, including the Montana arrest warrant, saying he didn't want to compromise the investigation.

Police were called at 3:16 a.m. Friday to the area of Canyon and Valley View after a newspaper delivery driver called emergency dispatchers to report suspicious men in the neighborhood.

When officers arrived, they found a man who had a warrant for his arrest. Officers, however, believed that the man may not have been the one they had received the call about, Bosenko said.

They then located two other men in the area who police said were trying to siphon gas. One of the men cooperated with police and was handcuffed, but Deen did not obey police commands, Bosenko said.

"The officers also suspected the two suspects may have been under the influence of unknown drugs," Bosenko said.

Officers found a methamphetamine pipe on Deen after he was shot, Bosenko said.

The sheriff's office is investigating the shooting under a local agreement that outside law enforcement agencies will investigate each other's fatal encounters. Had a deputy pulled the trigger, for example, Redding police would investigate the shooting.

This is the seventh officer-involved shooting in Shasta County since 2011. The first six were ruled justified or accidental.

Only the cases involving James Thomas Jobe, Kenneth Ray Wilson and Jose Venavides were fatal.

Jobe was shot in late October on the shoulder of Interstate 5 in Redding after grappling with a sheriff's deputy.

Wilson was shot at least 16 times on South Market Street in early August after firing at officers who were chasing him.

Venavides was shot in the head in March 2011 by Redding police after he shot an officer during a traffic stop on South Market Street. ..Source.. by David Benda

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