Two Woodland Officer-Involved Shootings Raise Concerns Over Crisis Intervention
Woodland Police and California Highway Patrol officers were involved in two separate shooting incidents, one of them a fatality, on August 18. Woodland Officer Darryl Moore shot to death Jeffrey Allen Towe, 53 at his Woodland residence. Heath Austin Nunes, 38, of Lincoln, was shot and seriously wounded by a CHP officer in his car parked on the I-5 shoulder in Woodland.
After identifying Towe and Moore on August 19, Woodland police stated that Towe allegedly physically threatened Officer Moore. Towe had behaved “erratically” during a 20 minute confrontation with Moore at the College Manor Apartments, 411 Elliot Street in Woodland. Officers, including Moore, had been investigating a reported disturbance there at around 6 am on the morning of the 18th. Finally, Towe disobeyed police orders to surrender, brandished a knife and charged Moore, who then discharged his weapon. Woodland police also stated the knife was a “military-style” weapon with a seven inch blade.
17 hours after the College Manor shooting, an unidentified CHP officer shot and injured Nunes, who had appeared intoxicated when contacted about 11:30 p.m. on August 18. He, along with two motorcycle riders, were pulled over to the side of the Freeway on southbound Interstate 5. After the motorcycles had left, Nunes disobeyed orders to exit his car. While two officers pulled him out, he allegedly reached for a handgun inside the car. One of the officers then shot him in the abdomen during the struggle.
A total of seven officers — two from the Woodland Police Department and five from the CHP — have been placed on leave while investigations continue. Meanwhile protesters, who linked these incidents to the ongoing unrest in Ferguson, Missouri over the August 9 shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, marched in Woodland and demanded police use of lethal force end.
The Davis Enterprise: More details emerge in Woodland officer shootings