Photo: Scene of Craig’s shooting (Bay Area News Group)
SANTA CLARA COUNTY – The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office ended its investigation into the death of an elderly man who was shot and killed by a Santa Clara County Sheriff’s sergeant.
According to Stacey Capps, Chief Trial Deputy with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, “Eugene Craig and his wife had ignored numerous calls, knocks on the door, and shouts to be let in from worried family, neighbors, and – finally – law enforcement.”
The day of the shooting, their granddaughter contacted the Sheriff’s Department, worried about her grandparents not responding to the door after multiple times of trying to contact them at their Titus Avenue residence. The Sheriff’s Department responded just before 8 p.m. on September 12, 2016, to the residence.
Responding deputies interviewed neighbors who also voiced concern. Capps said, “Neighbors told police that Craig, 87, had threatened to kill himself and his wife if they received bad news.” It is thought that the threat stemmed from medical issues the couple suffered due to their old age.
Law enforcement determined that, in order to end the standoff, entry into the home was needed due to the uncertainty of the situation drawn by the couple’s apparent unwillingness or inability to answer the front door.
That is when a Sheriff’s Deputy faced Craig inside the home with a loaded firearm. Commands were given to drop the firearm, however it appeared Craig was raising the gun to fire at the Deputies who had just entered the home. “Craig raised the weapon, pointed it at a deputy and appeared to be pulling the trigger,” Capps said, “Sgt. Ulrich, a 15-year veteran of the force, fired his weapon 4 times, fatally.”
Dash cam video and audio shows deputies asking the couple to open the door multiple times before entry.
The wife told deputies that Craig refused to allow her to open the door and was holding the gun to prevent intruders from entering the home.