Dashcam footage has been released officials by California’s Butte County, showing just how many things can go wrong in an officer-involved shooting- including friendly fire.
Such was the case when Butte County and Sutter County Sheriff’s Office deputies opened fire on a “prime suspect” in a double homicide, killing their own police K-9 -identified as SCSO K-9 Bandit- in a hail of gunfire after the suspect revealed a “metallic object.”
The high-resolution video was released by the Butte County District Attorney’s Office on Tuesday, giving insight into what began as a high-speed chase through the Camp Fire evacuation zone, only to end in tragedy.
The chase involved 48-year-old G.D. Hendrix, a wanted man with a history of criminal behavior and a prime suspect in a double homicide. Hendrix led deputies through the evacuation zone on a chase before coming to a stop.
Hendrix had previously been arrested in 2015 for carrying firearms and possession of a destructive device while on amphetamines, when a warrant was served at his home in connection with a 2014 double homicide. Authorities found an AK-pattern rifle, a .22 revolver, and a single-shot .223 pistol, as well as a homemade pipe bomb.
While he was sentenced to over seven years of prison time in 2016, he was released on parole earlier this year and went missing after he cut off his ankle monitor.
Last Thursday, however, Hendrix once again appeared on police radar, after a citizen reported him camping out in a parking lot located inside of the Camp Fire evacuation zone.
According to the Chico Enterprise-Record, authorities made initial contact with Hendrix, who was awoken from his sleep and “immediately jammed his hand into his jacket, as if he was reaching for a weapon.”
Startled, the deputies backed up and demanded he exit the vehicle, only for Hendrix to refuse, and drive off, telling deputies that he would not be going back to jail.
Deputies engaged in a chase with Hendrix, deploying spike strips during the event and bringing his vehicle to a halt.
Exiting their vehicles armed with pistols and carbines, the deputies ordered the Hendrix -who was now suspected to be armed- to exit the vehicle and show them his hands.
At one point, an SCSO deputy released K-9 Bandit in an effort to take down Hendrix, in hopes that he would “stop” him from doing anything foolish.
As Bandit was deployed, Hendrix pulled a “metallic object” from his hand and pointed it at the lawmen, prompting seven of them to open fire from multiple angles.
Under the hail of fire, both Hendrix and Bandit were struck and killed, as well as Hendrix’s own dog, who attempted to appeared to attack Bandit in an attempt to protect his owner.
The seven officers involved came from several agencies- three from the Butte County Sheriff’s Office, three from the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office and a California Department of Fish and Wildlife warden out of Shasta County. It is unknown if any of the responding officers had established any use-of-force protocols with the multiple-agency response force.
The incident remains under investigation.
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