Thursday, September 9, 2021

3rd UPDATE: Man Shot by Police Died at the Hospital

Posted By on Thu, Sep 9, 2021 at 12:25 PM

click to enlarge Scene of the shooting in the Arcata Bottoms. - THAD GREENSON
  • Thad Greenson
  • Scene of the shooting in the Arcata Bottoms.

The man shot in the area of Mad River Road and Miller Lane in Arcata this morning by law enforcement responding to a suspicious person call was declared dead after being taken to the hospital, according to an update.

The man’s identification was not immediately released.

The HCSO reports multiple officers with the California Highway Patrol and Arcata Police Department responded to the 911 call, which came in at 10:47 a.m., and began “de-escalation efforts” after finding the man walking in the roadway.

The caller described the suspect as a white male, around 30 years in age, who was wearing a leather jacket and had a handgun.

At the time, the sheriff’s office was looking for a man who had evaded deputies earlier in the morning and who generally matched the description and was believed to be armed.

“The Humboldt County Critical Incident Response Team has been activated. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Division and the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office are leading this investigation,” the update states.

Sheriff William Honsal was still giving a briefing just before 4 p.m. when this update was posted. Read a full story on the briefing here.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s office confirmed that Critical Incident Response Team has been activated to investigate a police shooting of a suspect this morning on Mad River Road and has scheduled a press briefing near the scene for 3 p.m. to release additional information.

According to scanner traffic this morning, the man shot by police was transported to Mad River Community Hospital for treatment. No update has been given on his condition.


Witnesses near the scene of the shooting said they saw a row of six or more police cars following a man carrying a briefcase or suitcase with a handgun holstered to his hip. Police were repeatedly asking him to stop and drop what he was carrying but he kept telling them to leave him alone, the witnesses said.

After the procession round a corner out of view, they said they heard a gunshot.

Multiple law enforcement agencies are at the scene, including CHP, the sheriff’s office, Arcata Police Chief Brian Ahearn and other APD personnel.


The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is at the scene of a shooting that took place around 11:30 a.m. in the area of Mad River Road and Miller Lane, in the county’s jurisdiction of the Arcata Bottom.
click to enlarge Scene of the shooting in the Arcata Bottoms. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • Scene of the shooting in the Arcata Bottoms.

“This is rapidly developing investigation involving multiple agencies. More information will be released as available. Please AVOID the area while law enforcement works,” the HCSO Facebook post states.

It is not immediately clear if this is related to the search for Matthew Lyle Dilley, 34, who fled deputies this morning in a high-speed chase and abandoned his car on a property around North Bank Road. He is believed to be armed.

Residents in the North Bank Road areas of McKinleyville and Arcata are cautioned not to open their doors to strangers and asking motorists not to pick up hitchhikers along nearby highways. Read more here.

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Kimberly Wear

Kimberly Wear is the assistant editor of the North Coast Journal.

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