Home Local & Regional News Lassen Sheriff’s Office Releases New Details in Janesville Shooting Death

Lassen Sheriff’s Office Releases New Details in Janesville Shooting Death

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Late this afternoon Lassen County Sheriff Dean Growdon released new details surrounding his agency’s investigation into a shooting death that occurred Monday evening on Hick’s Road in Janesville.

As reported in an earlier story, the Susanville CHP Communications Center began receiving reports of a reckless driver in a white pickup truck with “U-Haul” decals traveling northbound on Highway 395 in the area of the Honey Lake Rest Area at around 7:00p.m.

A Susanville Area CHP Officer spotted the suspect vehicle traveling southbound on US 395 and used his radar to measure the vehicle’s speed at 105 miles per hour.

Because of the suspect’s excessive speed the CHP unit lost sight of the vehicle, but a passing motorist notified the officer that the man had turned onto Hicks Road, then southbound onto Ponderosa Drive. The CHP Officer located the vehicle on Ponderosa Drive.

The officer contacted the suspect, who refused to obey commands, and a vehicle pursuit ensued for approximately one-mile up Ponderosa Drive, until they reached the intersection of Hicks Road and Ponderosa Drive, where the suspect lost control of his vehicle and collided with another vehicle traveling south on Hicks Road.

The solo-occupant of the third vehicle, who was not identified, sustained injuries in the collision and their condition is not known at this time.

The suspect fled the scene of the collision on foot as additional CHP Officers and Lassen County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the area.

“Residents of a dwelling located south-west of the collision and on Hicks Road yelled out and summoned CHP officers,” explains Sheriff Growdon in the report. “Upon reaching the residence, the officers observed a pickup truck in the back yard of the residence, and they learned that the homeowner had shot a single-round from a handgun at the solo occupant of the truck.”

According to Growdon the vehicle’s occupant was believed to be the suspect who had fled the scene of the vehicle collision.

CHP officers checked the driver and found no signs of life. The subject was declared deceased by a Lassen County Deputy Coroner and CHP officers and Sheriffs deputies secured the scene.

Detectives from the Sheriff’s Office were called out to lead the possible homicide investigation, while CHP investigated the vehicle collision.

Growdon said that based on the evidence collected at the scene and witness statements, it appears that the following events occurred after the collision: the suspect fled the crash scene through an area with trees, bushes, and tall grass, reaching a residence on Hicks Road where he armed himself with a beer bottle. He then entered the attached garage of the residence through an open roll-up garage door. From there the suspect entered the living space of the house through a door from the garage and confronted the residents.

“The suspect held the beer bottle over his head and threatened to kill the family if they did not turn over their car keys,” said Growdon.

“The adult female resident retrieved a set of keys and a handgun from another room. She gave the keys to the suspect, and the handgun to the adult male resident. The adult male resident told the suspect to stop and put his hands up, as well as other verbal commands.”

The suspect did not comply, according to the report, and fled the home through the garage door. The resident followed the suspect out of the home and saw that the suspect was in his pickup truck, which he was attempting to steal.

The suspect accelerated and drove toward the adult male resident who fired one round from a handgun at the man behind the wheel. The vehicle came to a stop after traveling a short distance.

Officers arrived on scene a short time later.

“The identity of the deceased suspect will not be released until positive identification is made,” said Growdon. “Washoe County Medical Examiner is performing a post-mortem examination.”

The incident is still under investigation. Upon conclusion of the investigation, the case will be forwarded to the Lassen County District Attorney.

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