Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office releases incident video of fatal deputy-involved shooting

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office released a “critical incident” video Sunday connected to the July 29 fatal deputy-involved shooting of David Pelaez-Chavez in unincorporated Geyersville.

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Published on the Sheriff’s Office’s official Facebook page, the 11-minute, 36-second, un-narrated video includes two separate 911 calls to Sheriff’s Office dispatchers from residents reporting property damage and theft incidents authorities say were committed by Pelaez-Chavez.

It also includes footage from the body cameras of the two deputies who can be seen following the 36-year-old Lower Lake resident as they attempt to arrest him. It also shows video captured by the Sheriff’s Office helicopter that was flying above.

According to authorities, in incidents that began at about 7:30 a.m. July 29 in an unincorporated part of Geyersville, Pelaez-Chavez threw a rock through one resident’s bedroom window, then carjacked a truck and dragged a man 20 feet who tried to stop him. He then dared another frightened neighbor to shoot him before leading the deputies on a 45-minute vehicle and foot chase “through heavy brush, steep hillsides and a creek,” according to authorities.

Deputies Michael Dietrick and Anthony Powers eventually caught up to Pelaez-Chavez in a forested area on private property about a mile from a home in the 5600 block of Thomas Road.

The video, which included a text readout, shows the points of view from both Powers’ and Dietrick’s body cameras. Pelaez-Chavez can be seen holding what appears to be a rock in one hand, and what the Sheriff’s Office describes as a hammer and a tiller in the other.

At one point a deputy, speaking in Spanish orders Pelaez-Chavez to drop down. Another deputy offers him water, but Pelaez-Chavez runs away.

As deputies follow him, they repeatedly tell him to drop his weapons. At one point, as they continue to speak to him in Spanish, he raises the rock, the hammer and tiller above his head.

Pelaez-Chavez lowers his arms then drops the rock, but “quickly picked up another large rock and pulled his arm back,” according to the video.

At this moment, according to the Sheriff’s Office, Powers attempts to stun Pelaez-Chavez but it has no effect. Dietrick then “fires his service weapon.”

The video from the Sheriff’s helicopter shows deputies providing him medical aid.

Pelaez-Chavez was pronounced dead a short time later.

Authorities did not release additional information Sunday. Phone calls and an email to the Sheriff’s Office were not returned by 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

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