Lawsuit filed over Chico officer-involved shooting

Sep 23, 2014 2:48 PM by News Staff

A year after a 19-year-old Chico woman was shot and killed by police, lawyers representing the woman's mother have filed a lawsuit against the City of Chico and the officers involved.

Breanne Sharpe was shot and killed in the early morning hours of September 22, 2013 after leading Chico Police on a vehicle pursuit that began when she failed to yield for a traffic stop.

Chico Police initially attempted to pull Sharpe over when they identified the black Honda she was driving as stolen. At one point during the pursuit the Honda crashed and Officer Scott Zuchin exited his patrol car to make an arrest, but Sharpe reportedly threw the car in reverse in an apparent attempt to hit Zuchin with the vehicle. It was at this point all five pursuing officers opened fire on Sharpe subsequently killing her.

Zuchin and the other four officers involved in the incident returned to work on October 3, 2013 after an investigation by the Butte County District Attorney's Office determined the officer's actions were deemed justified.

During a press conference last October, District Attorney Mike Ramsey said Sharpe was a troubled teen who started stealing cars at the age of 14. She had most recently been arrested in February of 2013 for stealing a car and then leading law enforcement on another high speed chase.

A toxicology report later revealed that Sharpe was under the influence of methamphetamine at the time of the shooting.

The lawsuit filed against the city and the involved officers alleges the shooting was unjustified because Sharpe was "was unarmed at the time of the shooting and no weapon was recovered from the scene". A news release from the attorneys representing Sharpe's mother says "At no time did Breanne pose any risk of immediate grave bodily harm to any of the involved officers or to members of the community".


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