On early Monday morning, the Woodland Police shot and killed 53-year-old Jeffrey Towe after he allegedly attacked them with a knife. The police have now provided additional details of the incident.
“The Woodland Police Department never wants to use deadly force in any situation. However, during yesterday’s incident Officer Darryl Moore had no choice, but to fire his service weapon,” a statement from Lt. Anthony Cucchi of the Woodland Police Department stated.
The suspect, 53-year-old Jeffrey Towe, was reportedly armed with a military style knife and was acting erratically, the police stated.
Officer Moore and other officers on the scene repeatedly told Mr. Towe to put the knife down and attempted to negotiate with Towe for approximately 20 minutes. Due to the nature of the call and Mr. Towe’s erratic behavior, an ambulance was on scene during the incident.
Mr. Towe charged at Officer Moore and threatened to kill him. Officer Moore fired three shots. Medical personnel tried to save the suspect, but Mr. Towe died after the incident.
Officer Moore has been with the Woodland Police Department for 13 years. He is a field-training officer, firearms instructor, and he has taken courses in crisis intervention dealing with people who suffer from mental illness. Officer Moore is on paid administrative leave, which is standard operating procedure after any officer involved shooting.
Although Mr. Towe does not have any previous record with the Woodland Police Department, the police said “Mr. Towe has a violent criminal past in Sacramento County.”
The Vanguard’s search revealed a single misdemeanor plea agreement on a Penal Code section 245(a) – assault with a deadly weapon – from nearly 30 years ago, 1986. He has no other known criminal history, although he was involved in the accidental shooting death of his mother 24 years ago.
According to a release from the Woodland Police Department, on Monday morning at 5:51, Woodland police officers were dispatched to the 400 block of Elliot Street for a disturbance. It was reported to dispatch that there was a disturbed man yelling or screaming, and singing, in or around the apartment complex.
When officers arrived in the area they contacted a 53-year-old male Woodland resident at the College Manor Apartment complex. Although there was apparently no weapon visible initially to arriving officers, they report that at some point the suspect displayed a knife and threatened the officers. Officers attempted to negotiate with the suspect, asking him to drop the knife.
The suspect then charged at one of the officers and that officer, fearing for his life, shot the suspect. The suspect was immediately transported by ambulance but was pronounced dead prior to arrival at the hospital.
The suspect’s name was not being released at that time so the Yolo County Coroner’s Office could make notifications to next of kin. No officers were injured in this incident.
The Davis Police Department is conducting the investigation of this officer-involved shooting.
The Yolo County Board of Supervisors recently approved a pilot program to become the first in the state to take advantage of SB 82, the Mental Health Wellness Act of 2013, and fund services that would lead to clinical staff accompanying law enforcement responding to mental health crises in Yolo County.
According to the county staff report, “These newly funded services are expected to lead to improved life outcomes for the persons served and improved system outcomes for mental health and its community partners. The Yolo County Department of Alcohol, Drug & Mental Health (ADMH) was successful in its response to this grant opportunity with a proposal to fund crisis personnel, including clinicians and peer counselors providing services in the community.”
The following agencies will participate: County Counsel; Local Mental Health Board; Winters, West Sacramento, Davis and Woodland Police Departments; City of West Sacramento; Yolo County Sheriff’s Department; Yolo Community Care Continuum; Woodland Memorial Hospital; Sutter Davis Hospital; and RISE Inc.
The shooting of Mr. Towe was one of two shootings that took place in Woodland on Monday morning.
CHP Officers shot a man just before midnight. California Highway Patrol Officer Pedro Leon said an officer came upon two motorcycles and a car on the right shoulder of southbound Interstate 5 between Main St. and County Rd. 102 around 11:40 p.m.
The two motorcyclists took care of what issues they had and left. The remaining driver in the car was suspected of driving under the influence and became uncooperative during the investigation.
The officer called for assistance and, when backup arrived and tried to arrest the man, the man produced a gun and one of the officers was forced to fire upon him a couple times, Officer Leon said.
The driver was taken to UC Davis Medical Center.
—David M. Greenwald reporting