◼ TS Humboldt County Sheriff's deputies shoot man on State Route 299
An officer-involved shooting left an unidentified man dead on State Route 299 west of Blue Lake Saturday morning.
The man was shot multiple times after allegedly approaching officers aggressively with the metal handle of a garden rake, and refusing to comply with officers' orders, according to the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office. He died at the scene.
The Humboldt County Coroner's Office said the identity of the deceased is being held pending a positive identification. However, people at the scene who said they are relatives of the deceased identified him as Robert Garth, 31, of Blue Lake.
According to a Humboldt County Sheriff's Office press release, deputies responded to a report of an assault in progress around 7:30 a.m. Saturday near the Blue Lake Boulevard on-ramp to 299, just west of the city. The release states that a 35-year-old Arcata man, who was hitchhiking, called 9-1-1 to report that he was being assaulted with a metal-clawed garden rake.
Humboldt County Sheriff's Office Lt. Steve Knight said the assault remained in progress when a pair of deputies -- including one in training -- arrived on scene, but Knight said the assault had moved up onto the westbound lanes of the highway at that point. According to the release, the handle of the rake broke off during the assault, and officers arrived to find the assault victim and the suspect struggling over the rake handle.
When deputies pulled up in their patrol car, Knight said, the victim let go of the rake and ran away from the suspect. According to the press release, the suspect then turned his attention to the officers, and allegedly began advancing on them with the rake handle, which looked like a three-foot metal pipe.
The suspect, who was in close proximity to the officers, then allegedly raised the pole into striking position and came at the officers, causing them to draw their weapons, according to the release.
Knight said deputies repeatedly instructed the suspect to drop his weapon. However, the suspect kept advancing, Knight said, and deputies fired on him as they retreated backward.
Despite having been shot by the deputies, Knight said, the suspect kept moving toward them.
”He continued advancing, and the officers fired again,” Knight said.
◼ TS Deputies shoot, kill suspect near Blue Lake
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