CRIME

Sheriff's Office identifies man who died in officer-involved shooting

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office has identified the man who died in a fatal officer-involved shooting Tuesday, May 17 as Luke L. Sanders, 36, of Montague.

Sanders, according to a Friday evening Sheriff’s Office release, “sustained a self-inflicted, serious wound and was shot by SCSO deputies after a confrontation on County Road A-12” at about 6:30 p.m.

Deputies at first “responded to a call of an injured man acting in an irrational and threatening manner,” according to the release. “... Reports indicated that the man purposely cut off his own hand and a report from a citizen indicated he may have a firearm.”

The Sheriff’s Office reported that preliminary investigative findings “indicate that at the time of the confrontation Mr. Sanders was not armed with a firearm but armed himself with an axe and repeatedly failed to follow commands of the deputies on-scene and presented an immediate threat to the deputies and others present at the scene. Two deputies fired their service weapons, which inflicted multiple wounds to the man. Despite life-saving efforts initiated by the deputies and later, by responding emergency medical response personnel, the man ultimately succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.”

The Sheriff’s Office states that the deputies arrived at the scene “because they were in vicinity of County Road A-12 and Interstate 5 investigating a separate call of a suicidal subject reportedly operating a motor vehicle in the area. The suicidal subject call, which later was determined to be an unrelated incident, was reported by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JSCS) just prior to the call involving Mr. Sanders.”

The officer-involved shooting incident resulted in the initiation of parallel criminal and administrative investigations, and the deputies involved in the incident are on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the administrative and criminal investigations, according to the release.

Sheriff Jon Lopey states in the release that “Mr. Sanders was known by some members of the department and his family is also well-known and respected members of the local community. Evidence suggests Mr. Sanders may have been suffering from a temporary mental health care condition but there is more information that must be gathered and analyzed from the autopsy and further investigation. Additionally, toxicology tests will not be completed for two to three weeks. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all involved in this incident.”

Sheriff Lopey urges anyone with additional information about the incident to contact the 24-hour dispatch center at 530-841-2900.

More information from a previous Sheriff’s Office release about the incident is at: www.mtshastanews.com/article/20160519/NEWS/160519636