Police

76 Shots, 2 Cops, and a Deadly Chase Through a Residential Neighborhood

The officers won't be charged, but the DA thinks their actions were "alarming and irresponsible."

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Generally speaking, it's better if cops refrain from firing off 76 shots from a moving car in a heavily populated residential neighborhood. But that's what two of them did last July, according to an investigation by the Orange County District Attorney's Office.

A newly released letter from the D.A. recaps the events that transpired when officers Sean Staymates and Kevin Pedersen pursued 50-year-old Eliuth Penaloza Nava.

The story begins when one of Nava's brothers called emergency services to say that Nava was high on drugs, possibly hallucinating, and driving around in a white truck with a gun and knife. After Staymates and Pedersen located the truck and began to approach it, Nava started to drive away. Both officers then exited their vehicle with their weapons drawn and pointed them at Nava, shouting: "Stop the truck!" Nava fled while the officers reentered their vehicle and pursued.

Pedersen saw Nava reach toward the floorboard and told Staymates that he believed Nava had a gun. Nava pointed the gun toward the officers as he drove, and the cops started firing. Pedersen later said that he saw Nava lower his gun each time they fired—and that he continued firing to keep Nava from shooting random residents. At one point, Staymates began shooting with his patrol rifle.

The chase ended when Nava pulled his truck up to the front of his home. The officers continued shooting at either the truck or Nava after he opened the door. They later said that they could see him moving inside but could not see both of his hands to be sure that he was unarmed. Nava was seriously wounded, and the two officers pulled him out of the vehicle.

Paramedics arrived and attempted to stabilize him. Nava was declared dead after being transported to a local hospital. His gun turned out to be a CO2-powered air pistol; it lacked the orange tip that would indicate that it's a fake.

Footage of the officers shooting through their own dashboard was captured by their body cameras.

The officers will not face criminal charges. But the D.A. writes that the decision to fire 76 shots from a moving car in a residential neighborhood "was alarming and irresponsible." The D.A. also recommends that the police department "fairly take any and all appropriate administrative actions and remedies."

The Anaheim Police Department has confirmed that Pedersen has been fired. Staymates is on paid administrative leave.

NEXT: A Question Barr Flubbed Badly

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  1. https://www.news9.com/story/40431746/raw-video-okc-police-release-bodycam-footage-of-14yearold-shot-in-se-okc-officerinvolved-shooting

    How about this one where the cop gives about a half second of warning before unloading into a 14 year old kid playing with his BB gun in his own backyard.

    1. Per what I read it was not his home but an abandoned house and the cops were responding to report of breaking and entering.

      1. That is what the article Juice linked says too, but in the video the cop does say to the dispatcher that he thinks its just a “cap gun” right before he gives his 1/2 sec warning before opening fire.

      2. Ah, thanks for the clarification. But still. It sure appears that the cop knew it was some sort of toy, not a real gun. It seemed like he just really wanted to shoot someone.

    2. Were 14-year-olds out of season?

      1. Whoa! Oklahoma, black male (which sounds like blackmail, a crime, and a cap pistol is a pistol). Every judge and jury in Oklahoma would say that’s justified, and would dock the cop for having only winged him.

  2. “We’re not going to take any action for spraying 76 rounds at a suspect in a residential area. But you totaled a windshield that someone has to pay for. You’re fired.”

    And was that rifle in burst mode, or was it just an echo on the body cams?

  3. The D.A. also recommends that the police department “fairly take any and all appropriate administrative actions and remedies.”

    Orange County’s top law enforcer is bold af.

  4. “…a CO2-powered air pistol; it lacked the orange tip”

    Pellet guns do not have an orange tip. Not even BB guns have an orange tip. Air soft guns, that shoot a plastic BB at very low velocity, do however have orange tips.

    So much gunsplaining…

    1. Personally I wouldn’t rely on the presence of an orange tip.

      Cause no person with ill intent could ever glue orange plastic end to a real firearm.

      1. I airsoft on occasion. All of my guns blew the orange tip off within a few hours of play. I just used some orange concrete powder paint to re-color them.

        As I did so, it occurred to me that there was no way to tell the difference if someone did that to an actual gun.

        Might as well just have the cops shoot everybody with a gun-ish hobby, because if someone with an airsoft collection decides they need to disguise their actual *Kill You With A Bullet* gun, you’d likely never know until they killed you with it.

        Shit, the people who get caught with illegal weaponry wouldn’t even need to worry if they simply purchased a few of the official bright blue “THIS IS AN AIRSOFT GUN” bags like I have. I’ve gone to the field in full military gear, with a dozen airsoft guns bagged up in the back, and never had an issue with local law enforcement over them.

      2. “Cause no person with ill intent could ever glue orange plastic end to a real firearm.”

        They could, but the muzzle blast would turn it into plastic shrapnel, and likely freak them out.

  5. Pedersen later said that he saw Nava lower his gun each time they fired—and that he continued firing to keep Nava from shooting random residents. At one point, Staymates began shooting with his patrol rifle.

    They had to risk shooting random residents in order to keep random residents from being shot at. Sounds legit.

    1. Nava shooting a random resident – attempted murder

      Cop shooting a random resident – nothing to see here.

  6. ” … it lacked the orange tip that would indicate that it’s a fake.”

    The only thing an orange tip indicates is that it is that the tip is orange. A real gun can be disguised with orange paint, just as easily as a fake gun can be disguised with black paint.

    1. BB guns, airsoft and paintball guns are exempt from orange tips because they are considered sporting goods, not toys. Toys have orange tips from manufacturer to the retailer. Once sold they can be removed by the end user (except if/ when there are required by local laws)

  7. Isn’t paid administrative leave a lot like cruel and unusual punishment to cop union spokesmen?

    1. Nah.
      As long as it is paid leave, the union dues get deducted. It’s all good.

  8. Cops after firing 76 shots on high speed chase: “BEST. DAY. EVER.”

  9. ” “alarming and irresponsible?”
    Nah.
    Just cops blowing off some steam as they shoot up other people’s property.

  10. I’d like to be both judge and executioner.

  11. The cops saw another cop shoot through his windshield on LivePD and thought they would try it out. only thing is the other cop was being shot at.

  12. Jesus what a couple of fucking psychopaths

  13. I would call it “reckless endangerment” and “disturbing the peace” and “making terroristic threats”. Gotta be some federal charges in there too. Take their guns and their badges and their vehicles, and lock them up while we decide what other charges to add.

  14. One of my most treasured toys as a child was a plastic replica M-16 that made shooting noises when you pulled the trigger fast enough.

    It’s Fall of 1988. My brother and I, along with some friends, hike down to the abandoned rock quarry down the road to set up our “bases” and have an imaginary epic battle. We were having a blast.

    A neighbor noticed people in the quarry, looked at us through binoculars, and all they could see were people decked out in camouflage and carrying what looked like automatic rifles with extended magazines. They called the police.

    Small town Missouri. The officer rolls up, asks us where we live, and compliments me on the accuracy of my replica. He tells us to have fun, but we should probably go somewhere else. We go across to road to the 50 acres of woods my family owned, and the battle picked up where it left off.

    Had this taken place in 2019? This would have ended with all of us in short little caskets.

    1. “This would have ended with all of us in short little caskets.”

      After the smoke cleared, all that would have been left of you guys would easily fit in one little casket.

  15. If one of my employees did something fairly characterized as “alarming and irresponsible”, I’d fire them, and my profession doesn’t involve gun play.

  16. Whoa! Oklahoma, black male (which sounds like blackmail, a crime, and a cap pistol is a pistol). Every judge and jury in Oklahoma would say that’s justified, and would dock the cop for having only winged him.

    “We’re not going to take any action for spraying 76 rounds at a suspect in a residential area. But you totaled a windshield that someone has to pay for. You’re fired.”
    Packers and Movers in Chandigarh
    And was that rifle in burst mode, or was it just an echo on the body cams?

  17. ” His gun turned out to be a CO2-powered air pistol; it lacked the orange tip that would indicate that it’s a fake.”

    That’s because it’s not a fake. Legally an air pistol is a firearm – you don’t put an orange tip on something that fires actual, and potentially dangerous projectiles. A junior HS friend had to have emergency surgery and almost dies when a pellet from a pump pistol penetrated his neck and reached a major vein.

    No, I’m not making any excuses for the egregious behavior of the cops. Just noting that Davis joins the long list if journalistic ignorance when it comes to firearms.

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