City News

Posted on: September 9, 2017

Information on Early Morning Shooting at 9th and H Streets

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City of Arcata
PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
3rd UPDATE - OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING


On September 9, 2017, at about 1:25 a.m., the Arcata Police Department received a 9-1-1 call reporting a group of males physically fighting in the street near 9th and H Streets. Officers from Arcata Police and University Police Departments arrived on-scene at 1:27 a.m. When the officers arrived they did not see anyone involved in a fight. While they were in the area investigating, a bystander reported to an officer that one of the people involved in the fight had brandished a handgun. The bystander pointed out a vehicle with which they believed the person to be associated.

An Arcata Police in-car camera captured video showing 26-year-old Ervin Eugene Sweat Jr. from Antioch, Tennessee, get out of the rear passenger seat of the vehicle and immediately point a handgun at the police officers. The video does not capture the entire incident.

Initial reports indicate Sweat fired two shots at the police officers, one of which struck University police officer Louis Altic in the upper right leg. Officer Altic and Arcata police officer Matthew O’Donovan returned fire with nine total shots, all of which hit Sweat. The handgun used by Sweat to shoot Officer Altic was recovered at the scene. The handgun, a .40 caliber semi-automatic Smith & Wesson was reported stolen from a local sporting goods store in 2015.

Immediately after the shooting, police officers began life-saving efforts on Sweat. Arcata Ambulance transported Sweat to the Mad River Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Officer Altic was transported to Mad River Community Hospital where he was treated and released. Although his injuries are serious, he is expected to make a full recovery. Officer Altic has 12 years of law enforcement experience, the last two years with University Police. Officer O’Donovan was not physically injured. He is a five-year veteran of Arcata Police Department. As is normal protocol in officer involved shooting cases, both officers have been placed on administrative leave.

This investigation is being led by the Humboldt County Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT). CIRT is a multi-agency team comprised of local law enforcement agencies that train and respond to officer involved injuries and deaths. In the case of incidents where an officer is involved in a shooting, it is the best practice for outside agencies to conduct the investigation.

The Humboldt County Critical Incident Response Team for this investigation includes the Eureka Police Department, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, Humboldt County District Attorney Investigators, Fortuna Police Department, California Highway Patrol and the Department of Justice Crime Laboratory. The results of the CIRT team investigation will be forwarded to the Humboldt County District Attorney for review.

Anyone who may have information about this case is asked to call the Arcata Police Department, (707) 822-2426.

Ervin Eugene Sweat Jr. Photo

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City of Arcata
PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING PRESS CONFERENCE

The Arcata Police Department will be holding a press conference tomorrow, Monday September 11, 2017, at 3 p.m. in the Arcata City Council Chamber, to provide an update to Saturday's officer involved shooting.


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City of Arcata
PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday, September 9, 2017 - 7:25 p.m.


On September 9, 2017, at about 1:25 a.m., the Arcata Police Department received a 9-1-1 call reporting a group of males physically fighting in the street near 9th and H Streets. Officers from Arcata Police and University Police Departments arrived on-scene at 1:27 a.m. When the officers arrived they did not see anyone involved in a fight. While they were in the area investigating, a bystander reported to an officer that one of the people involved in the fight had brandished a handgun. The bystander pointed out a vehicle with which they believed the person to be associated.

As the Arcata and University police officers contacted the occupants of the vehicle to investigate, a 26-year-old black male adult from Antioch, Tennessee, got out of the rear passenger seat pointing a handgun at the police officers.

Initial reports indicate the man fired at least two shots at the police officers, one of which struck the University police officer.  Both officers returned fire, hitting the man several times. Officers fired approximately nine shots in total. A handgun was recovered at the scene.

The man, whose identity is being withheld pending notification of family, was pronounced dead at the Mad River Community Hospital. It is anticipated that his identity will be released Sunday.

The University police officer who was shot was transported to a local hospital where he was treated and released late today. His injuries, while serious, are not life threatening. The officer has 12 years of law enforcement experience, the last two years with University Police. The Arcata police officer was not physically injured. He is a five-year veteran of Arcata Police Department. As is normal protocol in officer involved shooting cases, both officers have been placed on administrative leave.

This investigation is being led by the Humboldt County Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT). CIRT is a multi-agency team comprised of local law enforcement agencies that train and respond to officer involved injuries and deaths. In the case of incidents where an officer is involved in a shooting it is the best practice for outside agencies to conduct the investigation.

The Humboldt County Critical Incident Response Team for this investigation includes the Eureka Police Department, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, Humboldt County District Attorney Investigators, Fortuna Police Department, California Highway Patrol and the Department of Justice Crime Laboratory. The results of the CIRT team investigation will be forwarded to the Humboldt County District Attorney for review.

Anyone who may have information about this case is asked to call the Arcata Police Department, (707) 822-2426.

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City of Arcata
PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday, September 9, 2017 - 8:27 a.m.


On September 9, 2017 at about 1:40am, an Arcata Police Officer and a Humboldt State University Police Officer were investigating a report of a man seen waiving a handgun on the Plaza. Reportedly the man was involved in an altercation when he displayed the gun.

Preliminary reports indicate that as the police officers approached a parked vehicle, the suspect, a twenty-six year-old male, with past felony convictions, got out of the vehicle and fired a handgun at the officers. The Humboldt State University Police Officer was wounded by the gun fire. Both officers returned fire, hitting the man. The man was not an HSU student. He was pronounced dead at the Mad River Community Hospital. His identity is being withheld pending notification of family. The police officer who was shot was transported to a local Hospital where he has been admitted. His injuries are not life-threatening. A handgun was recovered at the crime scene.

The Humboldt County Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) which includes investigators from the Eureka Police Department, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office, Fortuna Police Department, California Highway Patrol and the Department of Justice Crime Laboratory are investigating this shooting.

Witnesses are asked to call the Arcata Police Department, (707) 822-2426.

No further information will be released at this time. The Arcata Police Department will issue an update this evening at 6 p.m.


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