Chico Cops Cleared in September Shooting

Oct 3, 2013 6:58 PM

Five Chico Police officers will return to work this weekend after being cleared of any wrongdoing, in the shooting death of a 19-year-old stolen car suspect in the early morning hours of September 22, 2013.

Breanne Sharpe was a troubled teen. She started stealing cars at 14, most recently in February of this year when she led police on a high speed chase.

Two months later, a judge gave her one last chance, by granting three years probation.

It appears Sharpe wanted to turn her life around, but simply didn't in time. Two weeks ago, she had her last scrape with the law.

After pursuing a stolen black Honda and feeling their lives were endangered, the officers all shot at Sharpe.

The officers used 45mm and 9mm handguns, each firing between one and eight rounds.

Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey used photos, and then 3D computer animation, to recreate the scene.

He said the first officer to shoot was in a "killbox,” meaning he was trapped in a confined area he couldn't get out of when the stolen car raced towards him.

“Zuschin did say he was in fear of his life,” Ramsey said.

Ramsey defended Sgt. Zuschin's actions to shoot four times at Sharpe.

“This has had an impact on all of us and we hope and pray we don't have something this tragic occur in the future,” said Chico Police Chief Kirk Trostle.

Trostle said all five officers have had psychiatric reviews and will be returning to work this weekend.

Some in attendance, like Mike Farrell, were looking for more, like more eyewitness accounts.

Farrell has known Sharpe since she was a baby, and was her neighbor in Chico for some time.

The last time he saw her was two weeks ago over dinner at Jack in the Box.

“We sat together and she seemed to be struggling but was in a positive mood and trying to do some positive things,” Farrell said.

“I'm going to pray for her mom…” Farrell said.

Ramsey said that Sharpe may have stolen the black Honda with another person, who still hasn't been identified. Sharpe was believed to be living on the streets of Chico or Magalia and was stealing items to survive.


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