[20-017] Press Release - Critical Incident Briefing 04

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Russell Hudson
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[20-017] Press Release - Critical Incident Briefing 04

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[20-017] Critical Incident Briefing
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Date Published: 26 September 2020
Point of Contact: Lt. Joseph Cline ([email protected] / 086-675-55)
Reference: 20-017

  • CRITICAL INCIDENT BRIEFING - DEPUTY-INVOLVED SHOOTING
    This document is a Critical Incident Briefing, designed to provide the public with information about an incident which occurred in the City of Los Santos involving Deputy Sheriffs. This document will entail relevant narratives, evidence, images or footage related to the case. We hope this provides the public with a better understanding of what occurred, based on what we know at this moment.

    The Los Santos County Sheriff's Department conducts very thorough use of force investigations. Every Deputy-involved shooting is a traumatic event for all involved. These incidents go through several layers of investigation and analysis. Each Deputy-involved shooting is reviewed to ensure compliance with the law, Sheriff's Department Policies, and the training of our Deputies. These investigations typically require multiple witness interviews, review of all known video footage, and analysis of significant amounts of forensic evidence. We are still in the very early stages of this investigation. These investigations often take several months to complete. Our understanding of the incident may change as additional evidence is collected, analyzed, and reviewed. We do not draw any conclusions about whether the involved department members acted consistently with our policies, our training, and the law until all facts are known.
On September 25, 2020, at approximately 2:00 AM, deputies assigned to the Paleto Bay Station Detective Bureau were conducting surveillance in the Rancho community when they observed a male black adult wearing a red hoodie, later identified as Mr. Martin Vitel, open fire at a passing motor vehicle. The Detectives advised units in the area of the shooting and further Detective Bureau units responded to the area. The Detectives lost visual of Mr. Vitel and began searching the area. At approximately 3:00 AM of the same morning, the Detectives observed a black four-door SUV occupied by three males. The Detectives recognized Mr. Vitel as the front right passenger. Once Mr. Vitel identified the Detectives as law enforcement officers, he pointed a handgun in their direction. The Detectives made a tactical retreat and evaded the subjects. Shortly after, the Detectives pulled in behind the black SUV and advised over the radio that they were in pursuit of an armed subject. The Detectives followed the SUV at a distance, spanning several miles into the Little Seoul community.

At this point, the SUV began reckless evasive maneuvers in an attempt to evade the detectives. The pursuit led into Morningwood when the SUV made a sudden stop on North Rockford Drive. At this point, two occupants exited the vehicle and opened fire on the pursuing detectives. During the ensuing gun battle, both Detectives were struck once my gunfire. Despite their injuries, the Detectives returned fire with their Department-issued sub machine guns. Mr. Vitel was struck several times and was pronounced dead at the scene. The second accomplice was also struck but not fatally injured.

The second accomplice faces the following charges:
  1. FC 608. POSSESSION OF A FIREARM BY A CONVICTED FELON
  2. FA 606. DISCHARGING A FIREARM IN PUBLIC
  3. FB 605. BRANDISHING A FIREARM
  4. FA 203. ATTEMPTED MURDER
  5. FA 203. ATTEMPTED MURDER
  6. MC 602. CARRYING AN UNLICENSED FIREARM
As with all Deputy Involved Shootings, this incident remains under criminal investigation. The information given in this release is preliminary and is subject to change.

MAGISTRATE JUDGE HON. RUSSELL HUDSON
SUPERIOR COURT OF SAN ANDREAS
RETIRED ASSISTANT SHERIFF LUKAS SCHMIDT
ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES DIVISION
LOS SANTOS COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT

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