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Whitefish man killed in California police shooting

By Will Wadley, KECI Weekend Anchor, wwadley@keci.com
Published On: Oct 26 2013 08:42:55 PM MDT
henning
MISSOULA, Mont. -

A man from Whitefish was shot to death by officers during an attempted arrest in Weed, California.

The man has been identified as 32-year-old Steven Hughes Henning.

The district attorney in Weed is investigating whether the use of lethal force was justified.

The following is a press release from the Weed Police Department with more information:

On October 24, 2013 at about 9:15 p.m., Weed Police Department and Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office personnel encountered a male adult in the vicinity of Shastina Drive at the Interstate 5 overcrossing who was wanted for an unprovoked and vicious attack ...against a Weed Police Department officer earlier in the evening. During this earlier encounter with the suspect that occurred at the Greyhound Bus Stop on South Weed Boulevard, the suspect was contacted after he committed an act of arson by starting a fire on the wood porch immediately in front of the building, presenting a major fire and public safety hazard. When contacted, the suspect refused to extinguish the fire and aggressively and violently resisted arrest, despite an attempt by the officer to subdue him with a Conducted Energy Device (Taser). During the progressively escalating altercation, the suspect jumped into the officer’s patrol unit and attempted to steal the police vehicle. The officer used pepper spray in an attempt to subdue the suspect and again attempted to arrest the highly aggressive suspect as a volatile struggle occurred inside the patrol unit.

The suspect violently resisted, exited the patrol unit, and fled the scene on foot after picking up the officer’s Conducted Energy Device (Taster), after it dropped to the ground during the struggle. An immediate search of the area was initiated by the Weed Police Department, Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) and California Highway Patrol (CHP). Local officers and deputies encountered the suspect near the freeway overcrossing while canvassing the area on a state right-of-way near the I-5 overcrossing. After attempting to subdue him with a law enforcement canine, the suspect violently resisted, attempted to injure the canine and during the extremely violent encounter the level of violence exhibited by the suspect escalated and the officer and deputy discharged their firearms and the suspect was struck. The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene of the incident. Identification has been withheld, pending notification of his next-of-kin.

Investigators from the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office, Weed Police Department, California Highway Patrol’s Mount Shasta Area and Northern Division commands, and the Siskiyou County District Attorney’s Office responded to the scene. The CHP and the California Department of Justice Crime Lab (Redding) is assisting with evidence collection and processing. The case is under investigation. The Siskiyou County District Attorney’s Office, with assistance from the CHP, is handling the criminal investigation. The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office and the Weed Police Department are each handling the administrative Officer-Involved Shooting Investigation(s). Anyone with information about the suspect’s actions or activities prior to the shooting or, anyone witnessing the initial assault against the Weed Police Officer at the bus station or the altercation near the I-5 overcrossing and Shastina Drive scene are urged to contact Supervising Detective Marc Perrin of the District Attorney’s Criminal Investigative Bureau, at 842-8125.