The Nevada County sheriff’s deputies who fatally shot a man at his Grass Valley home Tuesday morning did so only after he burst from the home’s front door holding an assault rifle, Sheriff Keith Royal said Wednesday.
Authorities identified the dead man as Dustin Kirk, 35.
“He ran out the door and pointed the gun at the officers, and they were forced to shoot him,” Royal said. “It’s one of those situations where the officer has to make an immediate decision of how to respond.”
The two deputies fired shots that struck Kirk five times. Two of those shots were considered fatal, the Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday afternoon.
The incident began at 3:17 a.m. Tuesday, when deputies were called to a home in the 13000 block of Brookview Drive Circle for a report of a disturbance between a woman and her son.
The caller told officers that the son was under the influence of alcohol and had physically harmed his mother. When they arrived, officers attempted to make contact with the son, later identified as Kirk.
“They knocked on the door, and he burst from the residence,” Royal said. “It happened very, very quickly.”
The mother was seriously injured and taken to a hospital, the sheriff said. The woman’s daughter, who had made the initial 911 call, arrived at the house after police shot Kirk, Royal said.
Dustin Alan Kirk has been involved in 12 separate court cases since 2006, Nevada Superior Court records show.
Many of those cases – including vandalism, driving under the influence of drugs, public intoxication and battery – ended with bail forfeiture, which happens when a defendant fails to appear for hearings or violates bail conditions.
In his most recent criminal case, filed in 2015, Kirk pleaded no contest to assault and battery.
The deputies involved in Tuesday’s shooting were a three-year veteran and a recent hire with the Sheriff’s Office. They will remain on administrative leave pending the investigation into the shooting, officials said.
The sheriff’s major crimes unit will be assisted by the Nevada County District Attorney’s Office and the California Department of Justice in investigating the officer-involved shooting, Royal said.
A toxicology report for Kirk is still pending, according to a Sheriff’s Office press release.