Pros­e­cu­tors re­veal de­tails of shoot­ing

The Modesto Bee - - Local - BY ROSALIO AHUMADA rahu­mada@mod­bee.com

Pros­e­cu­tors have de­ter­mined that a Stanis­laus County sher­iff’s deputy re­sponded law­fully to a deadly threat when he shot Ar­mando Osuna, who had hit an­other deputy with a metal pipe dur­ing a con­fronta­tion ear­lier this year in River­bank.

Stanis­laus County sher­iff’s of­fi­cials have said Osuna be­came com­bat­ive and struck Deputy Ran­don Kirk­bride’s right hand with the metal pipe. Then, Deputy Bran­don Silva fired his gun, hit­ting Osuna in the up­per torso. Osuna, 51, was taken by am­bu­lance to lo­cal hos­pi­tal, where he died sev­eral hours later.

“The use of force by Deputy Silva was mea­sured and in di­rect re­sponse to the threat he per­ceived after Osuna had struck Deputy Kirk­bride with the metal pipe. In other words — it was rea­son­able,” ac­cord­ing to a let­ter the Stanis­laus County District At­tor­ney’s Of­fice sent to Sher­iff Adam Chris­tian­son on Mon­day.

The District At­tor­ney’s Of­fice re­leased the let­ter pub­licly Wed­nes­day morn­ing at­tached to a news re­lease.

Nancy Osuna, who was not at the Bur­neyville Road home that day, has told The Modesto Bee that vi­o­lence was not in her hus­band’s na­ture. She also said she be­lieves the deputies could have used a Taser or other non­lethal means to sub­due her hus­band.

The deadly con­fronta­tion oc­curred May 29 at a home in the 7000 block of Bur­neyville, just south of the Stanis­laus River near Ja­cob Mey­ers Park in River­bank.

About 10:50 a.m. that day, the deputies were called to the home to a re­port of a dis­pute be­tween Osuna and a for­mer land­lord. Pros­e­cu­tors said that the land­lord told sher­iff’s of­fi­cials that Osuna had been evicted from the home sev­eral weeks ear­lier.

Osuna’s wife has told The Bee that her hus­band was at the home that day to pick up fur­ni­ture. She has said their for­mer land­lord had told them that he’d call au­thor­i­ties if they set foot on the prop­erty, but the land­lord’s wife told the Osunas the fur­ni­ture would be put curb­side.

The land­lord told sher­iff’s of­fi­cials that Osuna wasn’t sup­posed to be on the prop­erty, but he had re­turned, an ar­gu­ment en­sued and Osuna had thrown a metal chain and lock at the land­lord, ac­cord­ing to pros­e­cu­tors. The land­lord was not struck.

The deputies re­spond­ing to the re­ported as­sault ar­rived at the home and learned Osuna was in a de­tached garage in the back of the prop­erty. Pros­e­cu­tors said Silva asked Osuna to come out, and he did, hold­ing a metal pipe in each hand.

The deputies or­dered Osuna to drop the pipes and get on the ground. Pros­e­cu­tors wrote in the let­ter Osuna re­fused and swung the pipes in a “stab­bing mo­tion.”

Silva used a Taser to sub­due Osuna, but it had no ef­fect on Osuna, who con­tin­ued to swing the pipes, ac­cord­ing to pros­e­cu­tors. Kirk­bride told in­ves­ti­ga­tors that he wasn’t cer­tain the Taser probes made con­tact.

Krik­bride then used pep­per spray, hit­ting Osuna in the face, but that also had lit­tle ef­fect on Osuna. Pros­e­cu­tors said Osuna held the pipes near his chest. Kirk­bride used the pep­per spray again, but it still had no ef­fect on Osuna.

Then, Silva bran­dished his gun, and Osuna re­treated into the garage. Silva peeked into the garage and spot­ted Osuna splash­ing wa­ter on his face. Pros­e­cu­tors said Osuna came out of the garage again hold­ing both pipes, con­tin­u­ing to swing them.

Osuna con­tin­ued to refuse re­peated de­mands to drop the pipes, be­fore he ad­vanced to­ward the deputies, ac­cord­ing to pros­e­cu­tors. Kirk­bride used pep­per spray a third time, and Osuna hit the deputy’s hand with one of the pipes.

Pros­e­cu­tors said Silva fired two bul­lets at Osuna, who turned and fell to the ground. Then, Kirk­bride tried to gain con­trol of Osuna, who moved away and stum­bled into the garage. The deputies were not able to hand­cuff Osuna un­til other deputies ar­rived.

“It is undis­puted that Osuna was us­ing a metal pipe (a deadly weapon) to at­tack Kirk­bride, and there­fore Deputy Silva was also al­lowed to re­sort to deadly force un­der the law,” pros­e­cu­tors wrote in the let­ter.

Osuna con­tin­ued to be com­bat­ive with medics try­ing to treat him at the scene and in the am­bu­lance, ac­cord­ing to pros­e­cu­tors. He also strug­gled with hos­pi­tal staff un­til he could be se­dated. Pros­e­cu­tors said an au­topsy in­di­cated that Osuna had a po­ten­tially toxic level of metham­phetamine in his sys­tem.

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