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Armed man shot by police on light rail is identified

Published: Wednesday, Mar. 12, 2014 - 9:43 am

The Sacramento County Coroner’s Office has released the name of the man fatally shot by Sacramento police aboard a light-rail train Saturday night.

He was identified as John Harmon, 50, of Chico.

Police said Harmon lunged at officers with a knife and implored them to shoot him.

Harmon died at UC Davis Medical Center late Saturday after the confrontation with officers.

Police gave this version of the violent events on the train: At 9:15 p.m., three Sacramento police officers assigned to the Regional Transit police services division responded to a report of a man with a knife aboard a train.

The police officers boarded the train near the light-rail station at 13th and R streets, and tried to talk to the man.

Police said he shouted at officers to shoot him.

When the man refused the officers’ commands, one officer and then another used their Tasers on him, police said, but neither shock had an effect. Instead, the man lunged at the officers with the knife.

The officers backed up to avoid being stabbed or slashed, police said, and two of the officers shot him several times in the upper body.

No officers or passengers on the train were hurt. Investigators interviewed witnesses to the shooting and recovered the man’s knife and other evidence, police said.

Efforts to contact members of Harmon’s family Wednesday were unsuccessful.

According to Butte Superior Court online records, Harmon had a history of minor, but not violent, offenses.


Call The Bee’s Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079. The Bee’s Cathy Locke and Benjamin Mullin contributed to this report.

Read more articles by Bill Lindelof



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