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Traffic stop in McKinleyville leads to officer involved shooting

MCKINLEYVILLE - Officers stood ready at all the main roads leading into Azalea State Reserve in McKinleyville Monday night after shots were fired by a Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputy.

“We’re not sure exactly the course of events. My understanding at this point is that there is some interaction where the deputy felt that his life was threatened, probably by the movement of the vehicle, or the acceleration of the vehicle. And at that point, the deputy believed he was in imminent danger and fired upon the vehicle,” Sheriff Mike Downey said.

A deputy sheriff had attempted a stop of a vehicle on Azalea near Chapel Hill Road around 9 p.m. The vehicle’s registered owner had a felony warrant. The car initially failed to stop and pulled down a private driveway, with the deputy following. The suspects’ vehicle tried to drive back out of the private drive toward the deputy’s location, at which point the deputy fired. During this time, the vehicle also crashed into two other cars. The driver fled. And a passenger remained.

“A female was located in the vehicle. She had sustained injuries to her hand. She was taken to the hospital for treatment. My understanding is she's been taken out of the area based on the fact that they needed more extensive surgery on the hand. The subject that fled the vehicle was located a short time later with use of a K9 and was taken into custody without incident,” the Sheriff said.

The suspect, identified as Michael Lawrence Barrett, is being held in the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on no bail warrant.

 “We’re trying to reconstruct the events as they occurred last night. Until we are able to speak to the officer, get a statement from him and a walk through of the scene, at this point we're basing it upon the evidence available. The physical evidence. So tomorrow, I believe we are meeting with the officer and we'll get a better idea of how the chain of events occurred from his recollection,” Sheriff Downey said.