Update: Woodland Police Release Photo of the Knife, Identity of Victim

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Woodland Police released this small photo of the knife

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

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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23 thoughts on “Update: Woodland Police Release Photo of the Knife, Identity of Victim”

  1. Tia Will

    As suggested reading for a kick off of discussion I would like to direct attention to the following NPR story from yesterday and a second from this am for those who are more focused on the financial implications of such a program.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/08/19/338895262/mental-health-cops-help-reweave-social-safety-net-in-san-antonio
    http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=341826070&m=341826071

        1. Davis Progressive

          in the gutierrez shooting from 2009, there was considerable question as to whether or not the knife was planted. reinforced by the fact it was actually a firefighter’s knife. that’s my reference.

          1. Frankly

            I see a trend for projecting a victim shroud on criminals and a criminality shroud on law enforcement. It is troubling to say the least.

            And it is common with left leaning folk and the liberal media.

            And I think that helps perpetuate lawlessness and criminality.

            It almost seems like the era of white civil disobedience and railing against authority has morphed into misguided protection of criminals.

          2. Barack Palin

            Exactly Frankly, how many cops or innocent victims will die in the future because cops will be afraid of doing their duty because they’ll be framed as a bad cop?

          3. Davis Progressive

            what i see is a concern that innocent people rather than criminals get caught up in this mentality.

          4. Davis Progressive

            “cops will be afraid of doing their duty because they’ll be framed as a bad cop?”

            the trend is moving in the other direction though – many cops i know – i work with law enforcement regularly in the ag’s office – concede that police get too wrapped up in their high tech gadgets, too willing to use force, and move off tried and true methods as a result. that’s troubling to me because it increases the likelihood of either an innocent person or in this case an ill person getting hurt or killed.

          5. TrueBlueDevil

            Frankly, you make good points.

            There are allegations today that the officer in Ferguson was severly beaten about the face and head, with a busted orbital eye socket. If this is true, doesn’t tha smack of this whole thing being a lynch mob mentality, with the media, Obama, Holder, ACLU, and others also riding the train?

          1. justme

            I for one am not questioning it…. I stand 100% behind WPD! Until proven otherwise, they are all good guys in my book!

    1. tj

      When someone is mentally unstable, it’s not helpful to move in so close. It tends to make the mentally ill person frightened or paranoid and increases the chances of a problem.

      Woodland Police should have known better and kept a good distance, and if they’d done that, there’d have been no need to shoot, and kill, this disabled person.

  2. Davis Progressive

    “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.”

    so he hasn’t had any history of violence since 1990?

    1. South of Davis

      DP wrote:

      > so he hasn’t had any history of violence since 1990?

      No, it just sounds like he has not been “caught” since 1990.

      Just like there is not a single person with two DUIs who “only” drove drunk “twice” there is not a single person with “only” a conviction for assault with a deadly weapon and “involved” in a shooting death that ‘only” committed “two” crimes…

        1. South of Davis

          DP wrote:

          > dui’s are little easier to get away with than a pattern of violence.

          True, and to quote Adam Carolla anyone with three DUIs has driven over 25,000 miles aka the circumference of the earth drunk.

          Odds are this guy was only violent (and got away with is) a few times a year (less than 100 times).

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