Shooting ruled justifiable

By: Staff Report
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The Placer County District Attorney’s Office has determined that the Jan. 1 shooting by Rocklin Police and California Highway Patrol officers of Gregory Gifford was justifiable. Gifford, 54, was shot early in the morning near the Meridians restaurant after he pointed a pellet rifle at police officers in Sun City Lincoln Hills. Following the shooting, the officers involved were placed on administrative leave as a matter of procedure. According to a press release from the Placer County District Attorney’s Office, Gifford led officers on a short chase in his vehicle following two armed robberies — a store in Sacramento and a t a gas station in Rocklin. Assistant District Attorney Scott Owens “indicated that Gifford, who was described by his family as suffering from depression, appeared to want the officers to shoot him,” according to the press release. Gifford had left a suicide note for his family and another note in his pocket apologized for leaving the officers with “no choice,” according to the district attorney’s office. The officers “believed that their lives, and the lives of the public, were in imminent danger of death or great bodily injury,” according to the press release. Gifford’s wife described him as suffering from depression for a substantial period of time following his injury on the job as a firefighter for the Sacramento County Fire District, which later became part of the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District, according to Owens. Gifford had been in contact with family members by cell phone prior to the shooting, telling them he was loading his gun — information that was available to officers on the scene, according to the district attorney’s office. When officers stopped Gifford, according to Owens, he ignored orders to lower his hands and put his weapon down. When he raised it toward the officers, they opened fire. Officers involved in the shooting were from the Rocklin Police Department and CHP. The results of the investigation were sent July 22 to the Rocklin Police Department, CHP, the Lincoln Police Department and the Placer County Sheriff’s Department.