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Thursday, March 21 , 2019, 3:45 am | A Few Clouds 47º


DA Clears Deputies in Fatal Shooting

The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office has concluded that the March 6 officer-involved fatal shooting of Donald George was justified homicide and that George had intended to commit “suicide by cop.”

George, 64, was shot after he pointed a handgun at sheriff’s deputies responding to 4621 Via Gennita on a report of a disturbance by a man with a gun. Upon arrival at the home, George confronted deputies as he exited the residence onto the patio holding a gun. He refused to comply with the deputies’ orders to drop his weapon and instead turned toward one of the officers and pointed the gun directly at him. Three deputies fired their weapons in response. George was pronounced dead a short time later.

Based upon the information known to the officers at the time of the shooting, follow-up investigation, and indications that George deliberately intended to commit “suicide by cop,” the District Attorney’s Office determined the shooting was justified homicide last week, sheriff’s Sgt. Alex Tipolt, a department spokesman, said in a statement.

Under California law, a killing is justified in self defense or the defense of another person if the person causing the death reasonably believed that he or someone else was in imminent danger of being killed or suffering great bodily injury, and the individual reasonably believed that the immediate use of deadly force was necessary to defend against that danger.

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