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Sacramento police, sheriff’s department identify officers in recent shootings

Published: Thursday, Jun. 12, 2014 - 1:04 pm

The Sacramento Police Department and county Sheriff’s Department have released the names of officers involved in several recent shootings.

Sacramento police Officers Karl Chan and Steven Fontana fatally shot a 50-year-old man aboard a light-rail train March 8 in what police believe was an attempt at “suicide-by-cop.” John Harmon, of Chico, died after he asked officers, who boarded the train at 13th and R streets, to shoot him and lunged at them with a knife, according to police. Chan is a seven-year veteran, and Fontana a 6-year veteran.

Officer Tyson Butler, with the department eight years, shot a man on Seavey Circle after responding to a domestic violence call March 10. The man, who survived, hid his hand in his jacket and acted as though he had a gun, and refused the officer’s commands, according to police. He had reported to dispatchers that he was “armed and dangerous.” Police said the incident also might have been an attempt at “suicide-by-cop.”

On March 26, Officer John Harshbarger, a 13-year veteran, was one of two law enforcement officers to fire at a man who allegedly tried to hit officers with his car at a gas station on 65th Street. The man, who officers were attempting to arrest on an outstanding warrant for various sex crimes, survived. Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy William Griggs, a 12-year veteran, was assisting in the arrest attempt and also fired his weapon.

The Sacramento County District Attorney’s office, which reviews officer-involved shootings, continues to investigate these cases.

Call The Bee’s Kim Minugh, (916) 321-1038. Follow her on Twitter @Kim_Minugh.

Read more articles by Kim Minugh

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