The man fatally shot by Calaveras County Sheriff’s deputies and California Highway Patrol officers last week was waving around an automatic air rifle with a laser sight attached to it.
Deputies and officers responding to the report of the man with a gun acting strangely didn’t know he was holding an air rifle; it had aftermarket modifications that made it look like an assault rifle, according to the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office.
The incident occurred July 5 on a rural road between San Andreas and Mountain Ranch.
The suspect, identified as John James Corrigan, pointed the red dot laser and rifle at law enforcement officers during the encounter, then turned to move toward several homes in the area.
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Two Calaveras County Sheriff’s deputies and one CHP Officer fired their weapons at Corrigan.
Of the 12 shots fired by the officers, three struck Corrigan. He was hit once in the arm and in the lower right side and middle of his back.
“This is consistent with deputies’ statements that suspect Corrigan was refusing to comply with the officers’ orders and the shots were fired at the time suspect Corrigan was turning to move towards a residence in the immediate area,” read a press release from the Sheriff’s Office. It went on to say officers were concerned for the safety of motorists and occupants in the nearby homes.
As part of the investigation, detectives served a search warrant at suspect Corrigan’s residence on Mountain Ranch Road. A firearm and controlled substance was located and seized.