Tuesday, 05 March 2024

District Attorney's Office investigates officer-involved shooting

CLEARLAKE – The District Attorney's Office is leading an investigation into a shooting involving a Clearlake Police officer.


The shooting occurred Wednesday morning, according to District Attorney Jon Hopkins.


A man at a residence on 33rd Avenue was injured in the shooting, Hopkins said. The officer was not hurt.


The names of the officer and the victim haven't been released.


Clearlake Police Chief Allan McClain and Lt. Craig Clausen didn't return calls for comment on Wednesday.


However, Hopkins said his office is now in charge of the incident, including releasing information about it.


“We've actually taken over the investigation because it's an officer-involved incident,” said Hopkins, which is part of a protocol that's invoked when such situations occur.


“It was Chief McClain's request that we come in and investigate the case,” he said.


Four of Hopkins' investigators were on scene since Wednesday morning, along with two state Department of Justice criminalists assisting with processing the scene under a search warrant, Hopkins said. He joined them in the afternoon and stayed until the evening.


Hopkins said he anticipated scene processing continuing into the night, with interviews also taking place Wednesday and into Thursday, although interviews could possibly take longer.


He was not prepared to release specifics about the incident or what led to the shooting, explaining that he is still verifying information and didn't want to comment preliminarily.


“That will be part of our investigation, getting all that information so it's accurate,” hes aid.


He said Clearlake Police officials have been present during the investigation, and some evidence may be stored with that agency.


Hopkins said he couldn't estimate when the investigation would be concluded or the results released.


The last officer-involved shooting the District Attorney's Office was called in to investigate took place at York's Mobile Home Park on Old Highway 53 in June 2008, as Lake County News has reported.


In that case, 63-year-old David Vestal was shot after allegedly pointing a shotgun at officers.


That investigation – which wasn't released until this past February, seven months after the incident – found no wrongdoing on the part of the officer.


Vestal's daughter, who was present at the incident along with her young son and boyfriend, later filed a lawsuit against the city which was paid by the city's insurance carrier.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews .

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