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Knife-Wielding Man Shot by Lompoc Police Dies From Injuries

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department investigating officer-involved shooting on 1100 block of North H Street

An officer-involved shooting occurred on a multi-use trail on the 1100 block of North H Street in Lompoc Monday morning. Click to view larger
An officer-involved shooting occurred on a multi-use trail on the 1100 block of North H Street in Lompoc Monday morning.  (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)
Michael Giles Click to view larger
Michael Giles

A man who brandished a knife was shot in the chest by Lompoc police Monday morning and later died from his injuries.

He was identified as Michael Giles, 27, of Lompoc, police said during a Monday evening press conference while the man's emotional family and friends gathered outside the police station.

Shortly after 8 a.m., officers were dispatched to the Jet Action Coin Laundry on the 1000 block of North H Street, Sgt. Kevin Martin said.

Police were alerted the man possibly was under the influence of alcohol and had threatened staff and customers, Martin added.

“Officers responded and upon arrival, they were confronted by a male subject, who immediately drew a large knife from a sheath on his person,” Martin said.

He ignored officers' commands and fled, crossing H Street, Martin said. 

Giles hid in bushes in the area, Capt. Deanna Clement added.

The shooting scene is along a multipurpose trail adjacent to a flood-control channel set between a shopping center and Embassy Suites along busy North H Street.

“Officers began searching the area, and as they were searching the subject reappeared, wielding the knife, and was ultimately shot,” Martin said, describing the knife as large.

Lompoc police would not say how many shots were fired or how often the man was hit.

Lompoc police and Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department gather at the scene of an officer-involved shooting on North H Street. Click to view larger
Lompoc police and Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department gather at the scene of an officer-involved shooting on North H Street. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

The officer, identified as Cpl. Charles Scott, a 4-year member of the Police Ddepartment, was placed on paid administrative leave, a standard procedure for officer-involved shootings.

Scott previously worked for the Chowchilla Police Department for eight years before joining the Lompoc force. The department and broader community have rallied about Scott's family as his teenage son, Noah, battles cancer. 

Four officers were at the scene but only one fired a weapon, Clement said. 

No officers were injured in the incident, Clement said.

Officers immediately administered medical attention to Giles, while waiting for Lompoc Fire Department and American Medical Response crews to arrive. 

"An officer will use lethal force whenever they feel their life is in danger or another person's life is in danger, and that is what happened today," Clement added.

Giles died at Lompoc Valley Medical Center, Clement said, expressing condolences to the family.

A backpack possibly related to a fatal officer-involved shooting was found in a nearby parking lot on the 1100 block of North H Street. Click to view larger
A backpack possibly related to a fatal officer-involved shooting was found in a nearby parking lot on the 1100 block of North H Street. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

Giles had twice been arrested by Lompoc police on suspicion of violating a court order, vandalism and battery, Clement said. 

Family members said Giles suffered from mental-health issues, and contended his small size did not make Giles a threat.

"Michael was a really good guy," said his brother, Marty Giles, adding that Michael suffered from depression and schizophrenia. 

"It's kind of unfortunate the police decided to take lethal action over this," he said, adding that his brother had lived in Lompoc for two or three years .

"All he wanted to do was be a better person," Giles added. "He just needed a little help, and we were all trying to be that help."

In addition to the primary scene, police also cordoned off a second area, where a backpack sat against a light pole, behind a shopping center across the street from the shooting scene. 

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the incident, and the District Attorney’s Office also sent representatives to the scene Monday. 

Lompoc police officers do not wear body cameras, Clement said.

As part of the investigation, officers checked the area for possible surveillance cameras that might have captured the shooting and events just before and afterward. 

"I do not believe there is any actual video of the incident," Clement said.

Investigators remained at the scene for more than four hours after the shooting.

Lompoc's previous officer-involved shooting occurred in February 2015, when an officer shot a 17-year-old boy who survived his injuries. 

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Evidence markers sit at the scene of an officer-involved shooting in Lompoc on Monday. Click to view larger
Evidence markers sit at the scene of an officer-involved shooting in Lompoc on Monday. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

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