Butte County DA rules Chico detective's use of deadly force was justified

Dec 1, 2015 5:57 PM by News Staff

A Chico Police Department detective who shot and killed an armed robbery suspect on Pomona Avenue last month has been found justified in doing so, Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey announced Tuesday.

Following the incident on Nov. 10th, Ramsey says investigators found a Bersa .380 caliber gun cocked and loaded with the safety off underneath the body of armed robbery suspect Eddie Gabriel Sanchez Jr. The gun had been stolen from one of Sanchez’s friends, Ramsey said.

Officials say Sanchez, 34, walked out of a house on Pomona Avenue and began approaching officers. Sanchez aimed his gun at Detective Mark Bass, who then fired three shots, two of which struck Sanchez in the right cheek and jaw. Ramsey said during the news conference Tuesday that the third round strayed into a nearby home and hit an entertainment center.

Toxicology reports showed that Sanchez’s blood alcohol content was .14, and he had a “substantial” amount of methamphetamine in his system. A meth pipe was found in one of his pockets.

Sanchez was under investigation in connection with a string of armed robberies at Chico convenience stores. Investigators say Sanchez was missing his right index finger, and that detail allowed them to connect him to the robbery at the Chevron Station on Nord Avenue. The other gunman in the robberies is still at large.

Bass, who was placed on paid administrative leave after the shooting, has been cleared to return to work.

The investigation was conducted by the Butte County Officer Involved Shooting / Critical Incident Protocol Team.

Action News Now Reporter Vanessa Vasconcelos will have a live report on District Attorney Mike Ramsey’s findings tonight at 5 and 6 p.m.

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