Police Helicopter Sniper Kills a California Motorist


With so much talk about gun control and gun laws, most people don’t take a minute to really sit down and think about all of the other things in this world that could be used as a deadly weapon. Sure, there are knives, chemicals and bombs, but there is one piece of machinery which just about all of us use on a daily basis that may be one of the more dangerous weapons of them all — a motor vehicle.

This certainly was seen to be the case in California this week, as the sheriff’s department resorted to using deadly force when a man in a Chevy Yukon simply would not pull over. It all started with a home-invasion, followed by the sheriff’s Specialized Enforcement Division trying to make an arrest of the suspect via a traffic stop. This is when things took a turn for the worse and the suspect decided to run, rather than simply pull over.

He proceeded to lead the sheriff’s department on a chase, reaching speeds of up to 100 MPH. Making matters worse, the suspect decided to drive the wrong way on San Bernardino’s 215 freeway. This is when the sheriff’s department made the decision to use deadly force before innocent victims could be injured or killed. They called in a sniper who set up shop in a helicopter and followed the vehicle from above. When the sniper felt that he had the perfect shot, he didn’t hesitate, apparently sending a bullet into the body of the suspect.

“It doesn’t happen every day, for certain, but our deputies are trained to fire from the helicopter,” Deputy Deon Filer said.

Unfortunately the gun fire from the sniper caused the driver to lose control, hitting into another vehicle and injuring a family of three, all of whom were transported to the hospital for treatment.

As of now, there is still an investigation underway to determine the exact cause of death for the suspect. They do not know for sure if it was the gunshot wound or the subsequent crash that ultimately killed him, but deputies believe that the right call was made to use deadly force to stop this dangerous man.


“It’s a public-safety issue,” Deputy Olivia Bozek said. “Once he starts going the wrong way, obviously he doesn’t care about passengers or pedestrians or other cars that are around.”

While certainly some may be against the police’s use of a helicopter sniper to stop a high speed pursuit, in reality, if this man was not stopped, he could have harmed and killed several more people on the way to his ultimate demise.  What do you think?  Was the use of deadly force appropriate here?

[image source: KTLA]