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Sacramento DA / Media / Press Release Archives / 2016 Press Release Archives / 10.28.16: Sheriff’s Deputies Lawfully Acted in Self-Defense After Attempted Ambush

Sheriff’s Deputies Lawfully Acted in Self-Defense
After Attempted Ambush

The District Attorney’s Office has determined that three Sacramento Sheriff’s deputies lawfully shot Adriene Ludd after he attempted to ambush them with an illegal assault weapon.

On October 22, 2015, a Sheriff’s deputy attempted to stop Ludd’s vehicle for a registration violation.  Instead of complying, Ludd recklessly evaded multiple pursuing deputies at a high rate of speed during which he ran several stop signs.  Ludd armed himself and then positioned his car as a barrier perpendicular across the road as two deputies pulled up only a few feet away on his passenger side.  Ludd immediately got out of his car, faced the deputies, and directly pointed a stolen Intratec Tec-22 assault weapon with a high-capacity magazine at one of the deputies.  The deputies, as well as numerous civilians in the area and another deputy who arrived, thought that Ludd fired at the officers.  The three deputies fired at Ludd, who concealed himself behind his vehicle.  Ludd continued to move behind his car and attempted to position himself where he could fire at the officers.  At some point during the incident, Ludd was shot in the hand and his gun landed in the gutter a few feet behind him.  The deputies briefly stopped firing at him when they realized he did not have the gun in his hand.  However, when Ludd began crawling directly towards his gun, the deputies resumed firing because they reasonably believed he was attempting to retrieve the gun to kill them.  Ludd died as a result of his multiple gunshot wounds.

Another firearm was thereafter found on Ludd’s person.  A third firearm was later found in his vehicle, along with large quantities of ammunition, and significant amounts of several different types of illegal controlled substances.  After the incident, an examination of the Tec-22, loaded with a high-capacity magazine containing twenty rounds of ammunition, revealed that two additional rounds had jammed in the chamber and Ludd never actually got a shot off. 

The District Attorney’s Office investigates all officer-involved shootings that result in death or bodily injury.  By law, officers are allowed to use deadly force when they reasonably believe they are faced with imminent danger. 

Based on a thorough review of the evidence, including multiple in-car camera recordings from the deputies’ vehicles, it is clear that Ludd posed an imminent mortal threat to the three deputies, and that the deputies were justified in shooting Ludd to defend themselves and each other. 

Our review only addresses whether the officers involved committed any violation of criminal law.  We do not address issues of civil liability, police tactics, or department policies or procedures.  

The District Attorney’s Office report detailing our factual and legal findings is available to the public. A copy can be found here.

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