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Ex-deputy Mendocino County D.A. faces gun charges

The Sacramento County District Attorney's Office last week charged a former Mendocino County deputy district attorney with two misdemeanors for carrying a loaded, concealed weapon in public.

Damon Gardner, 39, has not been charged, however, with shooting and wounding a man with that gun during a scuffle in downtown Sacramento Oct. 17. He has claimed he fired in self defense.

Gardner was with a colleague when he got into a verbal altercation near the Capitol at about 12:30 a.m., Sacramento County District Attorney officials said. The argument turned physical when Gardner punched a man in the face with his fist.

The man and his friend retaliated, forcing Gardner to the ground, where they repeatedly punched and kicked him, officials said. They have not released the names of the two men who fought with Gardner.

One man kicked Gardner in the head like it was a soccer ball while the other punched him in the mid-section, authorities said. Gardner suffered nasal fractures and bruises to his eye, head and ribs.

While on the ground, Gardner pulled his gun from his pocket and shot one of the men, officials said. The man's injury was not life threatening.

Gardner had a permit to carry a concealed weapon but permit holders are not allowed to carry guns in bars or while consuming alcohol.

Gardner and his companion had been consuming alcoholic beverages at local restaurants and bars before the incident, authorities said.

Gardner was on medical leave at the time of the incident and has since resigned.


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