Angelo Moreno, pulled up a shiny metal object from his truck and "held it as if it were a firearm," according to a statement Tuesday by Napa County Sheriff's Office.
Moreno died of multiple gunshot wounds and he tested presumptive positive for methamphetamine and marijuana, according to preliminary autopsy results, said Napa County Sheriff's Capt. Tracey Stuart.
The shiny object turned out to be a silver-colored, metal, 4.5-inch opened multi-tool that Moreno, 27, used to simulate a firearm, Stuart said.
Moreno, said by police to be a homeless man from the Vallejo and Martinez areas, is suspected of stealing the truck that he drove in the incident.
According to the statement, a Sheriff's Office investigation revealed the following course of events:
On March 15, at around 10 p.m., an American Canyon police officer attempted to stop a white 1991 Mazda pick-up truck with no license plates. The driver failed to stop and there was a short pursuit that ended north of the dead end of Newell Drive in American Canyon, when the suspect’s truck got stuck in a field.
The truck had been stolen earlier that day from Rodeo.
Four American Canyon police officers were on scene. The driver of the truck, Angelo D. Moreno, had a glass pipe in his mouth and repeatedly reached to his mouth and other areas of the truck.
Moreno failed to obey officers’ repeated commands. Moreno reached over towards the passenger side of the truck and came up with a shiny metallic object, held it as if it was a firearm, and pointed it towards the officers on the driver’s side of the truck.
The officers believed the shiny metallic object to be a firearm and all four officers fired at Moreno, striking Moreno numerous times.
According to Stuart, the three officers on the driver's side and the officer on the passenger's side of the truck all fired at Moreno, who was then pronounced dead at the scene, Stuart said.
The object Moreno pointed at the officers turned out to be a silver colored, metal, 4.5 inch, opened, multi-tool, that Moreno used to simulate a firearm, she said.
Autopsy results are still pending, but preliminary cause of death is multiple gunshot wounds. Moreno tested presumptive positive for the presence of methamphetamine and marijuana.
The American Canyon officers involved are: Sgt. Mike Hunter ,with 17 years of service; Dep. Cullen Dodd, with 10 years of service; Dep. Bryan Schultz with 17 years of service; and Dep. Kenneth VanDyke, with almost 2 years of service.
All deputies were placed on paid administrative leave.
Once the investigation is concluded, the report will be sent to the Napa County District Attorney’s Office for review.
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