Sacramento County Deputy Shoots Machete-Wielding Man


By Shuxuan Zhong

SACRAMENTO, CA––On Sept. 28 at approximately 8:45 a.m., the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office received a call from Lisa Naranjo from her home near Enrico Boulevard and Fruitridge Road. The woman claimed that her husband, Jaime Naranjo, was trying to commit suicide in their house, and that he had a machete. During the call, police asked for basic information about Naranjo. The woman denied that he had mental health problems and that he was taking medication, claiming also that he had no history of violence against others.


The first deputy arrived at the scene at 8:44 a.m. Lisa Naranjo, who called the police, stood outside the house, then led the deputy through the fenced gate at which point the deputy saw a man with a machete appear on the porch. The deputy immediately and repeatedly instructed the man to drop the machete. However, the man suddenly blindfolded himself and walked toward his wife. The woman screamed “Jaime!,” and the deputy pushed her aside. 


The deputy attempted to get the man out of his own path to avoid potential harm, but the man continued walking toward his wife. In response to his advances, Lisa raised her arms in a defensive posture. Eventually, the deputy fired five shots and killed the man, who was later identified as Jaime Naranjo.


Shavon Acosta Naranjo, one of Jaime’s daughters, claimed that the police should have taken steps to de-escalate the situation instead of just shooting her father. She also stated that “my dad [Jaime] was a hard-working man, he supported his family, his grandchildren, he loved all his sisters, his brothers, his wife, his mother. He loved everybody.” She also said that the deputies knew her father suffered from mental illness.


The Sacramento County District Attorney and Attorney General are conducting independent reviews of the shooting. Sacramento police have provided recordings of the phone calls and camera footage. During a phone call, the police had asked Lisa “Do you know if he [Jaime] was diagnosed with any mental health condition?,” to which Lisa had answered “no.” Furthermore, the Sacramento Sheriff states that the incident developed rapidly: the deputies carried cameras that recorded the entire incident, showing that it took only 23 seconds between the deputy getting out of the car, and firing the first shot. 


Jaime’s wife and children do not accept the video evidence from Sacramento police as accurate and claim the video has been edited. In a statement, Lisa Naranjo says: “I called for help and you killed him. You took my life partner.” 


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