Thursday, September 16, 2021

Eureka Resident, 35, Identified as Man Fatally Shot Last Week by CHP

Posted By on Thu, Sep 16, 2021 at 3:50 PM

click to enlarge The Sept. 9 scene of a police shooting of Charles Chivrell on Mad River Road. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • The Sept. 9 scene of a police shooting of Charles Chivrell on Mad River Road.
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office today identified the man fatally shot on Mad River Road as 35-year-old Eureka resident Charles David Chivrell, who died after being struck by a single round from a CHP rifle, according to an incident update.

According to the HCSO release, CHP officer Michael Griffin, who has eight years of experience with the agency, fired the shot after Chivrell raised his firearm in the direction of officers after an Arcata Police Department officer deployed a less-than lethal pepper ball gun.

The shooting is being investigated by the Humboldt County Critical Incident Response Team and the findings will be forwarded to the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office.

Officers from the California Highway Patrol and APD responded to the rural section of the Arcata Bottoms just before 11 a.m. last week on a report of a man walking in the area with a gun in a holster on his hip.

According to the release, Chivrell did not follow officers’ instructions to stop before the shooting took place. At the scene on Sept. 9, Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal said officers had been using de-escalation techniques for 15 minutes.

Multiple people who live along the road told the Journal that day that they saw a slow procession of officers — some walking alongside creeping patrol cars with guns drawn taking cover behind their passenger-side doors, and others in their vehicles — following Chivrell, urging him to drop a briefcase he was carrying and follow their commands. But he reportedly did not comply and kept walking, at times walking backward while talking to the officers, telling them to leave him alone.

“Officer Griffin and other officers from the CHP and Arcata Police Department followed Mr. Chivrell down the road for approximately one mile, attempting verbal de-escalation to gain compliance,” the HCSO release states. “Mr. Chivrell stopped a few times and spoke to the officers during this process. However, he refused the commands of the peace officers and he continued to walk on Mad River Road away from the officers. During the times when Mr. Chivrell was speaking with the officers, he made threats toward peace officers and members of the public.”

After Chivrell was shot, officers administered first aid until an ambulance arrived, the release states. He died at the hospital.

Video footage “from multiple body-worn cameras and dash cameras that captured the incident from various perspectives,” will be released by the California Highway Patrol “as soon as it can be done without compromising the integrity of the investigation,” according to the release.

Assembly Bill 748, which went into effect in July of 2019, requires law enforcement agencies, with limited exceptions, to release video footage of shootings and other use-of-force incidents in which police cause "great bodily harm" to a suspect within 45 days of the incident.

Read the full HCSO release below:

On Thursday, September 9, 2021, a California Highway Patrol Officer was involved in an officer involved shooting in the area of the 1000 block of Mad River Road, in the unincorporated area of Arcata. The Humboldt County Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) is investigating this incident.

This incident update (#2) is to provide a more in-depth release of information. In alignment with Humboldt County CIRT’s transparency protocol, this update provides the name of the California Highway Patrol officer involved, the name of the decedent and additional incident details.

California Highway Patrol Officer: Michael Griffin, 8 years of service with the California Highway Patrol

Decedent: Charles David Chivrell, 35-year-old Eureka resident

At approximately 10:47 a.m., multiple officers with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and Arcata Police Department responded to the area of Heindon Road and Miller Road for the report of a man walking in the roadway with a firearm. The CHP received the initial call and requested assistance from the Arcata Police Department.     

California Highway Patrol Officer Michael Griffin, accompanied by an officer in training, attempted to contact Mr. Chivrell in the roadway. During this time, Mr. Chivrell was observed to be in possession of a handgun holstered on his person.

Officers requested that Mr. Chivrell yield for a pedestrian stop. Mr. Chivrell disregarded this request, continuing to walk northbound on Mad River Road. By failing to stop, Mr. Chivrell violated a misdemeanor obstruction, delaying a police officer. 

Officer Griffin and other officers from the CHP and Arcata Police Department followed Mr. Chivrell down the road for approximately one mile, attempting verbal de-escalation to gain compliance. Mr. Chivrell stopped a few times and spoke to the officers during this process. However, he refused the commands of the peace officers and he continued to walk on Mad River Road away from the officers. During the times when Mr. Chivrell was speaking with the officers, he made threats toward peace officers and members of the public.

In the 1000 block of Mad River Road, an Arcata Police Department officer deployed a less-lethal pepper ball gun to gain compliance from Mr. Chivrell. Following the deployment of the pepper ball gun, Mr. Chivrell withdrew his firearm and raised the firearm in the direction of the peace officers. Officer Griffin fired one shot with his CHP department-issued patrol rifle. Mr. Chivrell was struck once. Officers on scene provided first aid to Mr. Chivrell and called in Emergency Medical Services. Mr. Chivrell was transported to an area hospital where he was declared deceased.  

This case is under investigation by Humboldt County CIRT investigators. All findings will be forwarded to the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office for review.

Video footage exists from multiple body-worn cameras and dash cameras that captured the incident from various perspectives. All of the video footage will be released by the California Highway Patrol as soon as it can be done without compromising the integrity of the investigation, in accordance with the guidelines set forth in the California Government Code and recently revised per AB 748. 

Anyone with information about this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539.

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About The Author

Kimberly Wear

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

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