Sonoma County Sheriff releases video in shooting of mall theft suspect
The Sonoma County Sheriff’s deputy who shot a man accused of trying to stab a Santa Rosa Plaza security guard earlier this month told responding officers he fired his gun after the man jumped into his unlocked patrol car, tried to put it in drive and reached for a knife during a struggle, a video made public Wednesday shows.
The video is the second of its kind released by the Sheriff’s Office since July, when a new law went into effect requiring law enforcement agencies release body-worn camera footage in officer-involved shootings and in cases when someone dies or is injured as a result of force.
The body-worn camera footage released Wednesday was paired with supplemental information about the shooting, including maps of relevant locations, dispatch audio from mall staff and narration from Sonoma County Sheriff Mark Essick — all elements not required by the new law. The video release mirrored one made by the agency late last month in response to a deputy-involved shooting in Bodega Bay.
Essick said the added information is intended to inform viewers about the circumstances leading up to the shooting, something the Sheriff’s Office will continue to do in future video releases under the new law, AB 748.
“I think this is what people in Sonoma County should expect from the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office in the future,” he said. “It’s important to set context so people can understand what they’re seeing. Sometimes the video by itself, it only tells a few seconds of what’s happening.”
The video came almost two weeks after Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy David Edney fired six shots at the man, later identified as Brad Baymon, 42, of Minnesota. The Aug. 1 shooting happened just before 6 p.m., after a mall security guard called 911 and reported a man tried to stab his boss when they stopped him over a pair of shoes and then fled through a parking garage, according to dispatch audio included in the video.
The mall’s asset protection manager also dialed 911, saying he and other staff were attacked by a man with a knife, according to a second audio clip.
“He literally tried to kill us, ma’am,” the manager said. “It was like he tried to stab us in the neck.”
The video shows Edney responding to an alert to local law enforcement about the attempted stabbing and spotting Baymon, who is wearing a jacket and carrying a red bag, on Morgan Street near the mall. The body-worn camera footage also captures Edney jumping out of his patrol car and drawing his firearm before firing a Taser at Baymon as he walks past him.
“Get on the ground right now, I will tase you,” Edney says in the video.
Edney runs ahead of Baymon, who doubles back toward the patrol car as he removes from his clothing the Taser’s barbed darts, which appear to have little to no effect, the footage shows. Baymon ignores the deputy’s commands and runs into the patrol car and closes the door — all within 20 seconds of Edney initially stepping out of his car.
Edney opens the door, but Baymon tells him “get out of here” and shuts the door. A frame pulled from the body-worn camera at that moment shows an object in Baymon’s left hand, which the Sheriff’s Office identified as a knife. The deputy then fires several rounds in quick succession as Santa Rosa officers arrive.