The Antelope man fatally shot by Sacramento County sheriff’s deputies on Sunday appears to have committed “suicide by cop,” writing about his intentions to end his life before heading out into his neighborhood carrying what turned out to be realistic-looking air-soft pistols, according to authorities.
Ryan Matthew Shannon, 41, died after two deputies fired on him when he refused to drop what deputies thought was an assault rifle and then pointed what they thought was a handgun at them, according to the Sheriff’s Department.
Investigators later learned that both the assault rifle and handgun were air-soft pistols that were “realistic” in appearance and lacking the manufacturers’ red tabs at the end of the barrel – tabs that indicate they are not real firearms, said sheriff’s Sgt. Lisa Bowman.
At Shannon’s home, deputies found materials suggesting that he “wanted to end his life,” Bowman said.
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Bowman also said that investigators now believe that 911 calls about gunfire in the area shortly before the shooting were probably unrelated to Shannon. Those calls came in about 2:15 a.m. and reported gunshots in the area of 4000 Antelope Road – too far away to realistically be connected to Shannon, who was found shortly thereafter more than a mile away, Bowman said.
After the calls of gunfire, deputies then received calls that an armed man was walking in the area of North Loop Boulevard, near Antelope Road. Two deputies, partnered in one car, were searching the area when they found a man later identified as Shannon walking on Don Julio Boulevard, holding what appeared to be an assault rifle.
Deputies repeatedly told him to put the gun down, Bowman said, but Shannon did not follow their orders and instead pulled out what looked like a handgun and pointed it at deputies. Bowman said the deputies feared for their safety and shot him. Shannon died at a hospital.