Sheriff’s deputies were justified in the fatal shootings of a mentally ill man in Alpine last year and a man who had been drinking heavily and threatening to commit suicide in Encinitas, according to review letters released Friday by District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.
Dumanis said sheriff’s Deputy Aaron Miller had few choices available to him when he faced 33-year-old Simon Hubble on a remote dirt road in Alpine last May 27.
Sheriff’s officials received a call from a representative of a treatment program that provides services to people with serious mental illness that a client of the program, Hubble, was planning to kill himself at his mother’s home in Alpine. When deputies responded, Hubble’s mother told them her son had driven away.
She said Hubble wanted to provoke a confrontation with deputies by threatening them with a screwdriver, hoping they would shoot him.
The mother said Hubble had a backup plan to overdose on heroin.
Miller encountered Hubble a short distance away driving a car. Hubble then got out of the car with screwdriver in hand. Miller tased him twice, but Hubble was not affected.
According to the account, Hubble yelled “Come on” while adopting a linebacker stance and began walking rapidly toward the deputy, who had backed away to the berm at the edge of the dirt road. Miller fired three times at Hubble, striking him twice in the chest. Hubble was pronounced dead at the scene.
Dumanis said Miller bears no criminal liability for his actions because he was legally justified and compelled to shoot Hubble to stop the threat he posed.
In another review letter, Dumanis said sheriff’s Deputy Steven Block fatally shot 56-year-old Gary Kendrick in Encinitas on March 27, 2015 in self- defense.
According to the letter, Block arrived at Kendrick’s home and found him sitting outside with a shotgun under his chin.
Block ordered Kendrick to drop the weapon. Kendrick told Block to shoot him and pointed the shotgun at Block.
Block — believing Kendrick was going to shoot him — opened fire on Kendrick, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
The investigation revealed that on the Monday of the week leading up to the shooting, Kendrick became aware of distressing information and began drinking heavily and behaving erratically.
Kendrick’s wife told deputies that her husband had tried to commit suicide two years earlier.
–City News Service
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