The fatal shooting of Travis Daniel Carlon by Lompoc police last year was ruled “justifiable homicide,” according to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office analysis, which revealed that the man had held two people at gunpoint and left a suicide note.
Carlon, 32, was killed after he pointed a revolver and refused to surrender to police officers who responded to a domestic disturbance on Oct. 9 in the 700 block of West Cypress Avenue.
The officers “who used lethal force that night reasonably discharged their firearms to stop Carlon from inflicting death or great bodily injury on themselves or their fellow officers,” according to the report released Friday.
At about 6:30 p.m., David W. — the report used first names and initials for victims — notified police about an incident involving a man with a gun at a residence near Ryon Park.
David said he was in the bedroom with his girlfriend, Melissa S., and heard crying in another room. When he walked out, he saw Carlon pointing a gun at his girlfriend, Roxanne M.
Carlon prevented David from leaving the living room for about 20 minutes, pointing the gun back and forth between him and Roxanne.
“During the 20 minutes, Carlon slowly walked up to David with the firearm pointing at David until the firearm touched the temple of David’s head,” the report said.
Carlon also held a pillow and the gun under his chin as if he was going to commit suicide.
At one point, Roxanne distracted Carlon, allowing David to escape out the window. His girlfriend had fled earlier.
More than an hour after police arrived, Roxanne also left the house, first sitting on the front porch, before officers moved the crying woman to a safe location.
“David and Roxanne were terrorized by Carlon as evidenced by Roxanne’s hysterical demeanor and David escaping the home by jumping out of a window,” the District Attorney’s Office report stated.
After arriving at the scene and calling out the Special Weapons and Tactics team, police spent 30 minutes urging Carlon to surrender peacefully.
At least three times, Carlon opened the door but did not leave the house. When he finally exited the residence at about 8:27 p.m., he pointed the gun toward the area where three officers were positioned behind cars.
The trio — officers Mauricio Calderon, Gabriel Molina and Rudy Mendoza — fired 26 shots in all.
An autopsy by Dr. Manny Montez, a forensic pathologist, revealed that Carlon had been struck 15 times, leaving wounds to his head, neck, chest, abdomen, left upper arm, left thigh, right lower leg, right foot and right hand.
Toxicology tests also showed that Carlon had methamphetamine and amphetamine in his blood. Additionally, tests showed his blood alcohol content was 0.28%.
“Dr. Montez opined that the cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds with a significant condition of acute methamphetamine and alcohol intoxication,” the report said.
Police found a black revolver on the front porch of the home, with two rounds, one spent and one live, in the revolver.
After searching the home, officers also located a suicide letter in which Carlon wrote notes to his children.
A neighbor recorded videos of the incident, showing Carlon exiting his residence and pointing a black object at police officers.
The video also captured one of the witnesses on the video saying, “He pointed a gun at them. What do you expect?” A second male voice responds, “Cop suicide.”
After the shooting, officers summoned medical attention from firefighters and American Medical Response personnel for Carlon, but the man was pronounced dead at the scene.
“When Carlon came out of his residence and pointed his gun at officers, after being given multiple commands to come out and surrender, he created a reasonable fear of death or great bodily injury in the minds of Officer Calderon, Officer Molina and Officer Mendoza,” the analysis stated. “Based on the totality of the circumstances and applying the law as set forth in Penal Code sections 196 and 835a, the officers both acted reasonably in their use of deadly force; therefore, the shooting of Travis Daniel Carlon is a justifiable homicide.”