A deadly encounter

Confusion reigns in officer-involved shooting in Rancho Cordova

A busy shopping area of Rancho Cordova became a scene of violence May 8 when a police officer and assault suspect engaged in a struggle, leading to the latter being shot to death near Interstate 50.

The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department said the incident started at 6:45 p.m. when a citizen reported a man “hitting and choking” a woman inside a car, trying to pull her out of it. A Rancho Cordova police officer was the first to arrive. Sacramento Sheriff’s Sgt. Tony Turnbull said when the officer tried to detain the suspect, later identified as Mikel McIntyre, a fight broke out. During the melee the officer fell into some landscaping as McIntyre allegedly bashed him in the head with a rock.

At that point, according to sheriff’s officials, the hurt officer pulled his gun and started shooting.

Converging on the scene, sheriff’s deputies employed a K9 unit to help search for McIntyre. He was soon spotted on the north side of Interstate 50’s westbound lanes. According to officials, McIntyre hurled “a large rock” into the police dog and then “attempted to strike the deputies.”

Two deputies shot McIntyre down. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital. Sheriff’s officials said the Rancho Cordova officer was hospitalized with head trauma and the police dog was treated by a veterinarian for unspecified wounds.

The next day, McIntyre’s mother, Brigett McIntyre, told The Sacramento Bee that she was the woman who witnesses said was being attacked, but that she was not being hit or choked, simply struggling with her son over car keys. McIntyre also made statements to The Bee that her son was having a mental breakdown when the officers contacted him.