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Departments : Shots Fired

Shots Fired: Eureka, California 12/08/2006

Ending a barricade at a local motel required the Eureka Police Department to face off against a very cunning adversary.

July 01, 2011  |  by - Also by this author

Checking Out

Honda slid out the door and into the hallway-face down, feet first, with his hands hidden from view beneath his abdomen.

"Show us your hands!"

The commands came simultaneously from every officer on the scene. The only person deviating from script was Honda, who was continuing to serpentine his body out the door with his hands still concealed from view.

Det. Harpham, five yards from the door and within 21 feet of the man, had taken cover behind a ballistic shield wielded by Officer Joe Marsh. To their immediate right, Jones kept a long gun trained on Honda.

His was not the only one. A few yards away and on the opposite side of the walkway, Metaxas zeroed in with his AR-15, while Sgt. Mike Johnson stood offset behind another portal as another designated shooter. Two team leaders, Det. Todd Wilcox and Sgt. Rico Sanchez, were posted outside the breeched window.

Finally, directly across from the door and behind one of the posts supporting the upstairs balcony, stood Hubbard, who'd exchanged his telephone for a Glock despite having every wish not to do so. While Hubbard wanted things to be different, by the time Honda's head reached the threshold of the motel door, it was obvious that Hubbard's old acquaintance did not plan to surrender peacefully.

Most of the uncooperative suspect's body was exposed, and Det. Harpham decided to deploy his TASER and yelled out a warning to the assembled officers.

Harpham activated the TASER, rotating it sideways to align the weapon's probes with the prostrate threat. A split second later, Officer Louis Altic activated a second TASER. Two sets of electrified prongs struck Honda's buttocks and legs. But instead of becoming incapacitated, Honda did something quite different. He rolled on his side and raised the barrel of a revolver toward Det. Harpham.

That was when all hell broke loose.

Det. Harpham ducked behind a ballistic-resistant shield as gunfire erupted about him. Rounds peppered the concrete next to Honda and struck him in the buttocks and leg as Marsh squeezed off a volley of .40 caliber rounds from his Glock. Another round fired by Sgt. Johnson wounded Honda in the leg.

But it would be two quick rounds from Robert Metaxas' AR-15 that would take Honda out of the fight. Centerpunched, the man fell lifeless. Two officers rushed up to retrieve his pistol and handcuff Honda. The suspect was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Tags: shots fired, Eureka (Calif.) PD, Barricaded Suspects, Motels, Heavy Equipment


Comments (3)

Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

Sgt. Bogie @ 7/4/2011 12:19 PM

No one who has ever been involved in a shooting can second guess another officers actions. I've been in two..wish it was none. You guys did an awesome job...and yes..Prepare..prepare. You all went home that night...mission accomplished...10-8.

Tom Ret LPD @ 7/4/2011 6:57 PM

This suspect was determined not to be arrested and obviously wanted to go out the hard way and died by his own actions as much as the police. Parking the truck in front of the suspect's room was a good tactic and thinking out of the box. It would be pretty hard for the pot loving DA to criticize the police in this matter since the suspect came out shooting. I echo the statement by Sgt Bogie- you guys did an awesome job.

DPS @ 7/13/2011 8:01 AM

What a expertly executed arrest. Kudos to a group of top-notched LE professionals. For the rest of us....train, train and train some more.

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