The District Attorney’s Office has determined that three Sacramento Police officers lawfully shot Dazion Flenaugh after he rushed at them in a threatening manner while holding two knives.
On April 8, 2016, Sacramento Police officers contacted Flenaugh in the South Sacramento area after receiving a report that Flenaugh had been acting suspicious in the neighborhood. Flenaugh ran from the officers and committed multiple crimes while seeking to avoid apprehension. After jumping over fences and escaping through backyards, Flenaugh stole a large pick axe from one yard and used it to smash another residence’s front door window. He also broke the back door glass. Flenaugh then went to an occupied home, which he forcibly entered after threatening to harm the resident with the pick axe and knife he was holding. She retreated from her home and contacted a neighbor for help. After discarding the pick axe and now holding two knives, Flenaugh confronted and threatened the neighbor, then fled.
When officers finally caught up with Flenaugh, he refused to comply with repeated commands to drop the knives and get on the ground. Instead, he rushed directly at one of the officers with the two large kitchen knives still in his hands. Two other officers were also standing nearby. Fearing for their own safety and the safety of each other, the three officers discharged their weapons at Flenaugh. Flenaugh died as a result of his gunshot wounds.
Multiple witnesses reported Flenaugh acting in a manner consistent with being under the influence of a controlled substance. Laboratory testing confirmed the presence of amphetamine and methamphetamine in Flenaugh’s blood.
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, Flenaugh posed an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury to the three officers, and they were justified in shooting Flenaugh 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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