Fatal police encounter

Man killed during officer-involved shooting in Chico

Chico Police officers shot and killed a man inside a local pet store last night (Oct. 15).

The deceased is described as a white male in his 30s, according to a press release from Chico Police Department Chief Matt Madden, and the identity of the victim is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

According to the press release, police began receiving 911 calls at about 7:30 p.m. regarding a man brandishing a knife and threatening people at Community Park on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway. As officers searched for the man, more calls came in reporting the suspect had moved near the intersection of Dr. MLK Jr. Parkway and 20th Street, and that he was damaging vehicles with the knife.

Officers located the man at Petco, where he was “actively causing a disturbance,” according to the CPD release. At some point after their arrival, two officers opened fire on the man, who was pronounced dead at the scene after life-saving efforts failed.

This is the first death as the result of an officer-involved shooting in Chico since the back-to-back killings of Desmond Phillips and Tyler Rushing in March and July of 2017, respectively.

The officers have been placed on administrative leave and an investigation is being conducted by the Butte County Officer Involved Shooting Protocol Team, which includes investigators from multiple law enforcement agencies and is led by Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey.

Ramsey has overseen the investigations of more than two dozen officer-involved shootings in the county since assuming the role of District Attorney in 1987, and has declared all but one of the officers justified in their actions. The lone exception is former Paradise Police Officer Patrick Feaster, who was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter after shooting 26-year-old Andrew Thomas in Nov. 2015. Feaster didn’t report the shooting until a commanding officer arrived at the scene more than 11 minutes after he shot Thomas in the neck. Feaster was released after serving half of a 180-day sentence in the Lassen County Jail in Susanville.


  1. A mountain lion up a tree or a bear in a backyard gets a tranquilizer dart or net thrown over them. A mentally ill person having a crisis in Chico gets bullets. Lots of bullets. The killing of Stephen Vest must be investigated by the State of California, not the co-workers of the shooters. A new state law, AB 1506, approved by the Governor for killings just like Vests, allows your DA or police chief to ask the Attorney General to investigate. This is the time for the DA and CPD chief to be transparent with the citizens of Chico and Butte County. It is a conflict of interest for the DA to handpick the fellow lawmen who will investigate. The bias is obvious. Thirty-five civilians have been killed by “peace officers” during the tenure of your DA. Many of the victims were mentally impaired. Even wild animals are treated better than humans in Butte County.

  2. Scott, Vest attacked law enforcement in March and bit them. He is a druggie who made poor decisions that night. Less than lethal weapons were deployed multiple times and this is what it came to, for better or worse.

  3. As we struggle through the daily stress of schools, pandamic, raciest, domestic terrorism and mental health, I have many thoughts.

    Tonight what weighs on my mind is the senseless death of Steven Vest, by over use of force by Chico PD.

    If you knew him as many of us did. Our kids, and nieces/nephews went through school with him in Paradise. He was a quiet man who had some mental health issues. Yes, Ramsey can get on the TV and put out there his previous police interactions. That is common with these folks.

    Our police department does not respect our Advocates, Mental Health Workers or Allies to have a voice in a person’s baseline functioning. It took 6 police interactions for one of my clients to get help and now along with a felony he was one of the only people bused out to State Hospital. so having many interactions isn’t abnormal and that breaks my heart.

    I would like for you all to support a independent investigation into the use of force with Stephen Vest. We can no longer sit on our hands and watch these things happen. I would greatly appreciate your help and voice in this manner of handing off to the Attorney General. Let’s get used to doing this as soon we will have laws that allow it to happen beginning with AB1506.

    Please Stop the killing, NOW!
    Thank you

  4. How about the police involvement in the murder of Steve Vanzant? He did. nothing at all wrong. . The police helped end his life and covered up and destroyed any tangible evidence. I saw them. Saw them drop him to the ground as he quit breathing. If it had been a group of blacks, or gays it would’ve been considered a hate crime. I thought that the definition of a hate crime was a person walking into a group of people that the shooter didn’t know, and opening fire whilst yelling obscenities against that group of people. I always thought that was a hate crime. I guess it doesn’t apply if you’re homeless. In this county apparently if you’re homeless you’re substandard. Regardless of how one became homeless.

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