Suicide by cop

D.A.’s office says deputy’s lethal force was justified

Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey announced that an investigation by his office has determined that a sheriff’s deputy’s fatal shooting of a Magalia man was a “suicide by cop” incident.

Ramsey found that Deputy Chris Dineen’s actions on Dec. 20, during which he shot and killed Wayne Lamar Oxley, were legally justifiable. According to the D.A.’s report, Oxley had called 911 at 7:31 p.m. that December evening, reporting shots fired in his neighborhood.

Dineen heard gunshots after arriving, and upon investigating was confronted by Oxley pointing a .45 caliber handgun directly at him. Witnesses heard the deputy ask Oxley to put the gun down. When he failed to do so, Dineen fired four shots, striking the Magalia man twice, fatally wounding him.

Oxley, the brother of former congressional candidate Gary Oxley, had a history of severe depression and suicide attempts. A handwritten will dated Dec. 12, which included an apology to his children for his actions, was found in his home. Oxley’s blood-alcohol level was 0.17. Toxicology also detected toxic levels of anti-depression and prescription pain meds.