A California Highway Patrol officer in Humboldt County fatally shot a 17-year-old male driver who attacked him with a machete, officials said Saturday.
The officer was responding to a vehicle accident involving a Nissan sedan that crashed into a telephone pole about 1:30 a.m. Thursday near the intersection of Blue Jay Lane and California 299 in Willow Creek, authorities said.
The driver accompanied the CHP officer to the rear of the car, but then unsheathed a machete and attacked the officer, said CHP Capt. Adam Jager.
The machete struck the officer’s left arm, hand and face, Jager said. As the officer fell to the ground, he fired an unknown number of bullets at the suspect, Jager said.
The officer returned to his car, locked his doors and called for backup, and the suspect returned to his car, Jager said.
A second officer arrived and witnessed the injured suspect leave his car “completely naked,” Jager said. The officer then used a Taser as he attempted to arrest the suspect.
“He was not complying with their orders to put his hands behind his back,” Jager said.
Two “good Samaritans” helped handcuff the suspect. Moments later, paramedics arrived and began administering CPR to the teenager, Jager said.
The suspect died at the scene. The officer was airlifted to UC Davis Medical Center with “very serious injuries,” Jager said.
“This is difficult,” Jager said at a news conference Friday. “It’s terrible. Our hearts go out to the family of this young man.”
The CHP has not released the name of officers involved in the incident or the name of the teenager killed. An autopsy will be conducted.
A team of investigators from Humboldt County public agencies are continuing to investigate what led to the incident. The CHP is also conducting an internal investigation.