Tragic history

Two decades of fatal encounters with local law enforcement, in brief

Robert Battaglia was killed the day after his 28th birthday.

Robert Battaglia was killed the day after his 28th birthday.

Two decades of fatal encounters with local law enforcement, in brief

The following list includes all citizens killed by Butte County-based law enforcement agents in the past 20 years, with details collected from news reports, online police shooting databases, final reports from the Butte County Officer Involved Shooting/Critical Incident Protocol Team and an extensive interview with District Attorney Mike Ramsey and his office’s lead investigator, Richard West.

An asterisk (*) indicates the victim suffered from mental illness. The term welfare check indicates authorities were called for medical/mental health reasons.

Those whose deaths were reported as “suicide by cop” are counted among those who suffered from mental illness, as suicidal thoughts are part of the criteria mental health workers and law enforcement officers use to determine if someone is afflicted with mental illness.

With the exception of Daniel Quick, whose heart failed after he was shot with a Taser, all of the decedents listed here were killed by gunfire.

Incidents are arranged chronologically and each includes the date, victim’s name, age, agency involved and location.

5-21-97: Pao Xiong, 34, BCSO, Thermalito

Domestic violence call escalated into gun battle between Xiong and BCSO Deputy Randal Jennings. Both died.

*6-30-98: Jose Antonio Zuniga Reyes, 27, BCSO, Chico

Suicide by cop. History of mental illness, hospitalization and a previous suicide attempt.

*7-26-01: Richard Bracklow, 46, BCSO, Inskip (near Stirling City)

BCSO deputies Lt. Larry Estes and Dep. William Hunter were killed in a shootout with Bracklow, a survivalist with a history of mental illness.

1-16-03: Luis Diaz Jr., 24, CPD, Chico

Gun battle resulted in Diaz’s death and the nonfatal wounding of a CPD officer.

9-19-03: Martin Cardenas Baez, 40, and Jose Guadalupe Castaneda-Castillas, 22, BCSO, Feather Falls

Both men shot during a raid on a marijuana grow.

6-3-05: Lavell Proctor, 26, CPD, Chico

Proctor, a robbery suspect and recent parolee, ran a stolen automobile into an occupied, unmarked police car before an officer opened fire. Some community members suggested racial motivation (he was black).

10-14-05: Nathan Butts, 20, CPD, Chico

Shot while allegedly trying to run over officers and a bystander.

*2-4-06: Chad Terrio, 22, BCSO, Bangor

Wielding knife. Family called hours earlier to request hospitalization, were told he didn’t meet 5150 criteria. Officers deployed a K-9 unit and used a Taser multiple times to no effect.

*4-24-06: David Linn, 41, BCSO, Berry Creek

History of mental illness, jail and multiple contacts with law enforcement. Armed and failed to drop weapon.

*9-16-06: Eric Smith, 40, BCSO, Magalia

Suicide by cop. Pointed gun at officers. Drinking heavily, girlfriend reported signs of mental illness.

*12-30-06: Daniel Quick, 43, BCSO, Magalia

History of mental illness, methamphetamine in system, heart failure after being shot with a Taser four times.

*6-12-07: Rebecca Stebbins, 31, Gridley-Biggs PD, Gridley

Chico woman reported she was suicidal, armed and bound for her estranged husband’s house. Aimed gun at officers.

10-8-07: Bartyn Pitts IV, 39, Dept. of Fish and Game, Jarbo Gap

Caretaker of a legal medical marijuana grow confronted warden delivering warrant with shotgun.

*2-17-08: Darlene Stace, 48, Paradise Police, Paradise

Suicide by cop. History of mental illness, armed with pistol at Paradise Cemetery.

*6-6-09: Stephen Bell, 58, CPD, Chico

Suicide by cop. History of mental illness.

3-11-12: Christian Valdez, 18, CHP, Paradise

Led CHP on high-speed chase, appeared to reach for a weapon.

*9-11-12: Wayne Renner, 49, CPD, Chico

History of mental illness, arrested and released twice in week before death for high-speed chases and weapons possession. Killed in standoff with SWAT team.

*12-20-12: Wayne Oxley, 50, BCSO, Magalia

Suicide by cop. History of depression, attempted suicide. Marine veteran.

7-2-13: Sengaroune Silaphanhdeth, 35, BCSO, Oroville

Out-of-state fugitive, reached for handgun.

*9-22-13: Breanne Sharpe, 19, CPD, Chico

History of bipolar disorder, addiction, police contacts since age 13. After leading police on a chase, reversed car toward officer. Police fired 19 bullets; two struck Sharpe.

*4-28-14: Victor Coleman, OPD, Oroville

Suicide by cop. Coleman had methamphetamine in system, allegedly rushed officers wielding a knife and a whiskey bottle during welfare check.

*5-18-14: Cory Lee Bush, 24, BCSO, Oroville

Aimed pellet rifle at deputies during welfare check.

*12-29-14: Robert Battaglia, 28, BCSO, Paradise

History of mental illness. Charged officers with knife during welfare check.

11-10-15: Eddie Sanchez, 34, CPD, Chico

Armed robbery suspect, aimed gun at police.

11-26-15: Andrew Thomas, 26, Paradise Police, Paradise

Drunken driver shot by former PPD Officer Patrick Feaster. Only local officer charged with wrongdoing in a shooting death, convicted of involuntary manslaughter. Served 90 days of a 180-day sentence.

*3-17-17: Desmond Phillips, 25, CPD, Chico

History of mental illness.