Butte County, CA – Video has been released after Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey announced at a press conference on March 20 that officers would not be charged for a shooting that left a suspect and police K9 dead.
Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea told reporters that officers have to make split-second decisions.
Sheriff Honea said that the shooting was reasonable considering Hendrix’s stance and the position he was holding the pipe.
Ramsey reminded reporters that Hendrix was the prime suspect in a 2014 double-murder investigation, and that he had cut off his GPS tracker in June of 2018.
Although Hendrix was not charged in connection to the shooting deaths, investigators located firearms, drugs, and an explosive device in his home during the course of their investigation.
When he was arrested on Jan. 6, 2015, he was in possession of multiple firearms, brass knuckles, and a dagger.
Hendrix was sentenced to prison for possession of methamphetamine while armed and possession of a destructive device, but was granted parole in May.
By June, he had absconded from supervision.
The events that led to the shooting began at approximately 11 a.m. on Nov. 15, 2018 when police received a report that a “suspicious” man had been living in a vehicle in the Yankee Hill Pines Hardware Store parking lot for several days, Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey told the Chico Enterprise-Record.
A Butte County Sheriff’s Office sergeant responded to the area and identified the man as Hendrix, who was wanted for escaping from parole.
Additional officers arrived at the scene, but Hendrix refused to comply with their commands to exit his vehicle.
“You guys should have let me alone,” he yelled at the officers, according to the Daily Mail. “I’m not going back.”
The officers also heard a “metallic click consistent with perhaps the racking of a gun,” Ramsey told the Chico Enterprise-Record.
The suspect backed his vehicle towards the officers before accelerating forward and crashing into another vehicle in the parking lot.
He then sped away, leading officers on a pursuit down Highway 70 towards Oroville.
Police later flattened Hendrix’s tires using a spike strip, but the suspect continued driving for approximately a half mile before he brought the car to a stop in the middle of the road.
Dashcam footage showed Hendrix’s vehicle parked on the center line, while officers repeatedly ordered him to show his hands.
Hendrix partially opened his driver’s door, but initially refused to exit the car.
A moment later, the suspect shoved the door open and stepped out of the vehicle but refused to put his hands in the air.
He then started running towards the officers with an object – later identified as a pipe – held out in front of him.
K9 Bandit rushed towards Hendrix as multiple shots rang out.
Six officers opened fire, striking both Hendrix and K9 Bandit, who was latched onto the suspect, the Daily Mail reported.
Although he was mortally wounded, K9 Bandit refused to let go of Hendrix.
The suspect’s pit bull suddenly emerged from his vehicle and began attacking K9 Bandit, at which point a seventh officer opened fire, killing Hendrix’s dog.
K9 Bandit also succumbed to his gunshot wounds.
Hendrix was shot in the torso and head, and died at the scene, the Chico Enterprise-Record reported.
Ramsey said it appeared that Hendrix “may have committed what is referred colloquially to as ‘suicide by cop,’” according to the Chico Enterprise-Record.
The prosecutor also released a photograph of the six-inch steel pipe Hendrix was holding when he charged at the officers.
You can see the video of the incident below. WARNING – Graphic Content