SUTTER COUNTY, CA - The fatal shooting of a suspected armed robber by Yuba County sheriff's deputies and Marysville police last April was a justified shooting, the Sutter County District Attorney's Office says.
STORY: Suspected robbert killed by police in Yuba City
Based on its investigation, the district attorney's office determined the officers responding to the police pursuit and standoff involving suspect Daniel Lee Lucha Jr. the night of April 3, 2013, feared for their lives and those of other officers when Lucha continued to display a blanket-covered object in a threatening manner toward officers.
The object was a lug wrench. Officers did not know that. However, witnesses at a Burger King that Lucha was suspected of robbing earlier in the evening, identified the lug wrench as a handgun in his waistband, according to the D.A.'s report. Also, a sheriff's sergeant who first confronted the suspect at the beginning of the pursuit and a deputy close to the suspect's van during the standoff reported hearing the suspect say he was going to shoot. Several officers told investigators they heard what they described as a metal clinking sound when Lucha tapped the covered object against his van's window.
About 20 minutes into the standoff, a Sutter County sheriff's deputy deployed a non-lethal bean-bag round at a window of the van. The D.A.'s report said the suspect then appeared agitated, raised the covered object to the broken window, cleared the broken glass, leveled and pointed the covered object at officers.
Fourteen officers fired their service weapons at Lucha.
Investigators said Lucha was positively identified as robbing the Taco Bell in Marysville on April 1. He went through the drive-through and told the clerk that he had a weapon. Late the next night, he was also identified as the man who went into the Burger King in Yuba City and robbed it by displaying what witnesses said was a firearm in his waistband. Lucha's image was captured on restaurant security camera.