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DA: Officers Use Of Lethal Force Justified In March Shooting

Redding Police and CHP Officers have been cleared of fault in the shooting death of a man earlier this year off Hartnell Avenue. At around 11 O’clock on March 10th CHP Officer Marcus Castillo saw a Chrysler 300 going 62 miles an hour, so he turned around and pulled it over in the parking lot of Bob’s Liquor just east of Churn Creek Road. The officer said the driver, 34-year-old Brandon Starr Robertson, had slurred speech, red eyes and smelled of alcohol. When asked, Robertson said he had been drinking beer earlier so the officer asked him to step out for field sobriety tests. Robertson did as asked and when he was given a breathalyzer he showed a level of .26, more than three times the legal limit. CHP Officer Chance Clark had arrived by that time and he went to his car to get a second set of handcuffs due to Robertson’s large size at 6-Foot-3 and 250 pounds. When told he was being arrested Robertson reportedly pulled away, spun around and faced Officer Castillo, who pulled his Taser and pointed it at Robertson, ordering him to the ground. Officer Clark had returned by then. Robertson did not get on the ground, but instead dropped to one knee and said “I can’t do this. This can’t happen….I got a gun”. With one officer pointing a Taser at him and the other pointing a gun, Robertson stood up. He was hit with a Taser twice but he just pulled the wires away and ran. Both officers ran after him up Rockabye Lane as he looked like he may have been reaching for a weapon. At one point Officer Clark saw the butt of a pistol in Robertson’s waistband, so he fired his gun three times. Robertson raised his hands and groaned but kept running into the dark and out of sight. Officer Clark took cover near a house and then saw Robertson jump a fence into the back yard. Clark says he could see Robertson point a gun at Castillo, who fired a shot. Robertson groaned, stumbled back 10 or 15 feet, and fell to the ground. Both officers saw three muzzle flashes and took cover. Clark then shined his flashlight on Robertson and saw him raise his hands, so he fired two more shots. Robertson said he was shot but the officers could only see his left hand, not the right hand that had been holding the gun. A large contingent of backup officers arrived from the CHP and RPD and they decided to approach Robertson with a shield in front of them. They saw he still had the gun and backed off, then decided to hit him with a shotgun-fired beanbag. As soon as the beanbags hit him, Robertson started to get up, still holding the gun, and he was shot multiple times by ten different officers. Robertson’s gun was a .45 caliber semiauto with 7 rounds remaining. Crime scene investigators found the three casings from Robertson’s gun, and the spent shells fired by the officers included 35 .40 caliber shells, 27 .223 caliber rifle shells and 5 12 gauge shotgun shells. Witnesses from nearby homes and from across the street largely corroborated the account given by the officers. The D.A.’s Office has found the officers’ actions to be justified. The entire report can be seen on the KQMS Facebook Page.