A graphic video released this week by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department shows the moment three deputies opened fire on a man after he gunned down his girlfriend in front of them.
The Sheriff’s Department released video and 911 audio clips from last week’s fatal encounter. The 10-minute compilation video was released on the sheriff’s YouTube channel and includes commentary and a warning about coarse language and graphic imagery.
The confrontation began about 12:30 a.m. Oct. 27, when multiple callers reported that a vehicle had crashed into a tree in Carmichael east of Sacramento and a man was aiming a gun at his female companion.
Private surveillance video from outside a nearby apartment released Wednesday shows a man pulling a woman toward the apartment after the crash.
“When they come, I’m blasting you,” he’s heard saying.
The man, identified as Earnest Easterling, 25, kicks the woman, identified as Channell Brown, 23, as she sits on the ground outside the apartment. He paces in and out of the frame as a dog barks in the background.
While the two are seen scuffling on camera, neighbors help children who were inside the apartment to safety, Sgt. Tess Deterding said.
Brown is heard crying in the video while seemingly trying to calm Easterling. At one point, Deterding says, Easterling walks away before returning with a 50-round drum magazine attached to a handgun, which can be seen in the video.
“None of these events and details were reported [to 911 dispatchers],” the sheriff’s spokeswoman said. “Deputies were unaware of the gravity of the situation as they arrived on scene.”
Deputies arrived about 10 minutes later. In the video, a woman runs from the apartment building to direct them, warning them that the suspect has a gun.
Easterling and Brown are off-camera when deputies initially order them to put their hands up and move away from the doorway. Brown complies and then pauses, calling for Easterling to do the same.
As she walks out of view, Easterling can be seen in the video charging after her and repeatedly shooting. Deputies immediately open fire on Easterling as screams are heard in the background.
Both Brown and Easterling were pronounced dead at the scene. The shooting is under investigation.
According to Deterding, who provides commentary throughout the video, Easterling was arrested in Nevada in 2016 for possession of a concealed firearm, possession of a gun with an altered serial number and possession of marijuana. He had not been convicted of any gun-related charges, which allowed him to purchase a Glock handgun in 2017 and use it in the attack on Brown.
Shortly after Brown’s death, her family told KTXL-TV she had been in an abusive relationship with Easterling.
“My sister was a beautiful person, inside and out, who loved hard and as a result is no longer with us,” Brown’s sister Keonna Brown said.
Sacramento County sheriff’s officials ended the video with a list of resources available to domestic violence victims.