Suspect dead in exchange of gunfire

Looking east on Sutter Road.

Looking east on Sutter Road.

Members of SWAT guard the perimeter. Jack Durham | Mad River Union

Members of SWAT guard the perimeter. Jack Durham | Mad River Union

Sheriff Mike Downey speaks with reporters. Jack Durham | Union

Sheriff Mike Downey speaks with reporters. Jack Durham | Union


Mad River Union

10:30 a.m. Thursday UPDATE:  The name of the man who was shot and killed this morning is David Alan Fulton, age 59, of McKinleyville,

2:45 a.m. UPDATE: The suspect apparently died in an exchange of gunfire following emergence of his significant other, referred to as "Carol," from the apartment.

The suspect, referred to as "Dave," reportedly fired on officers as she left, then went back inside and started a fire via some unknown means.

He then came back out and started firing again, and was struck by an unknown number of bullets.

The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sheriff Mike Downey will hold a press conference at 9 a.m.

2:40 a.m. UPDATE: The suspect is dead, reports Union reporter Paul Mann. Details unclear.

2:10 a.m. UPDATE: Suspect detained inside apartment.

2:07 a.m. UPDATE: The suspect is being addressed as "Dave" over the PA system. Three shots fired.

Second Arcata Fire engine arrives at crime scene. Searchlights were trained on the apartment.

2 a.m. UPDATE: After eight SWAT Team members deployed to the apartment area, multiple detonations were heard.

Thursday, Aug. 18, 1:30 a.m. UPDATE: At 1:20 a.m., the Sheriff's SWAT Team detonated a flash-bang grenade outside the suspect's apartment after gunshots were fired inside, presumably by the suspect.

Also from inside, a hitherto unknown woman's voice was heard yelling, "We're not coming out!" At that, six more shots were fired.

The woman was next seen at the HCSO mobile command post outside True Value Hardware, evidently after fleeing the apartment.

HCSO Capt. Kim Thompson said the suspect is not in custody.

Arcata Fire has just arrived on the scene, and the SWAT Team is preparing to tear gas the apartment.


10:25 p.m. UPDATE: Three McKinleyville Red Cross members are hosting 16 stranded residents at the Joyful Healer Methodist Church, 1944 Central Ave. All 16 reside within the restricted crime scene, and their homes are presently inaccessible.

Red Cross representative Christina Jones said that the church will remain open to affected residents for as long as they can't return home.

The church opened at 7 p.m. Wednesday night, with the Red Cross serving dinner and continuing to offer snacks.

Weirup Lane is closed and likely to remain so through the night and morning hours. Mendocino County Sheriff's Office deputies are on scene offering support to HCSO, the CHP and Fortuna Police.


9:45 p.m. UPDATE: Sutter Road residents continue to arrive at the taped-off perimeter maintained by the CHP, hoping to gain access to their homes. One gentleman asked for an escort through the lines, but was denied. A woman said she left her home near the Moose Lodge on Sutter Avenue at 6:30 a.m., and her two dogs have been alone inside since then.

9:30 p.m. UPDATE: The HCSO has moved an armored vehicle into position across from the barricaded suspect's apartment, and is using its loudspeaker to urge him to resume cell phone contact. Negotiations have been intermittent, with Incident Commander Bill Honsel trying to maintain contact with the suspect.

Perhaps 20 officers are on scene, including CHP and Fortuna Police units. HCSO deputies were seen reconfiguring crime scene tape, but no changes have been made to the perimeter.


7:50 p.m. UPDATE: Undersheriff Honsel tells the Union that cell phone negotiations with the suspect were restored at about 7:15 p.m., and are ongoing.


6:50 p.m.UPDATE: The suspect broke off communications around 5:30 p.m., according to Sheriff Downey. he said he has knowledge that the suspect has been in touch with up to four other people, one of which encouraged him to surrender.

"We will wait for as long as it takes, but I think we're at a standstill," Downey said. "He's in a mode now where he knows he has the power over the situation."

Continued Downey, "We know that the suspect has a mental health history, but I'm not sure how extensive it is."

Downey and Undersheriff Willian Honsel, the incident commander, are discussing whether or not to further tighten the perimeter around the scene in order to allow some area residents to return to their homes.

"We are not going to push for a solution," Downey said. He said the suspect is calm and not aggressive.

Drapes to the suspect's residence are drawn, but flutter occasionally as the suspect scopes out the scene outside.

Downey said there would be no more press briefings tonight, unless the situation is resolved.


6 p.m. UPDATE: Six more children have been extricated from the building.

5:35 p.m. UPDATE: Negotiations continue. Sheriff Downey said his department has established a good rapport and is having a "great conversation" with the suspect, who has even laughed at times. he said negotiations were headed in a positive direction.

"Time is on our side and on his side," Downey said.

The suspect's significant other, a female, has been in touch with him and, Downey said, "has great influence over him."

The sheriff didn't disclose the means by which she was communicating with I'm, though HCSO negotiators are in conversation with him via cell phone.

"We will stay as long as it takes," Downey said.

He backtracked on a previous statement that the suspect had resumed taking psych meds, now saying that HCSO was "not able to establish" that.

"I am very confident that the negotiations are moving in the right direction, but the suspect is as yet unwilling to surrender," Downey said. The suspect has made no demands nor set any conditions for surrender, he added.

Sutter Road is still closed between Weirup Lane and Park Street. The True Value Hardware store remains closed.

Another update is expected at 6:30 p.m.

4:13 p.m. UPDATE: Sheriff Mike Downey spoke with the press, stating that he is "very confident" that the situation will be resolved peacefully, and possibly by 5 p.m. He said the suspect has a significant other, but that person's whereabouts are unknown. Deputies have further tightened the perimeter. Downey said he will offer another update at about 5:15 p.m.

4:02 p.m. UPDATE: Radio traffic overheard at the crisis command center indicates that the suspect has resumed taking his psych medication.

2:33 p.m. UPDATE: Traffic has been reopened to Weirup Lane, offering access to the Azalea Gardens Apartments.

2:25 p.m. UPDATE: Deputies are continuing to evacuate eight tenants from the same building in which the suspect is barricaded. Eight to 10 more residents of neighboring buildings will also be removed.

1:25 p.m. UPDATE: The Bearcat armored vehicle is being used to evacuate residents so they can safely be removed from the area.

The suspect, believed to be 55 years old,  is inside his apartment, and there are no known hostages or family members with him. The suspect is known to law enforcement.  The apartment manager and other residents reportedly had unspecified problems with the man.

Humboldt County Undersheriff Billy Honsal described the situation is being a "very dynamic scene right now that could change at any moment."

12:35 p.m. UPDATE: A khaki-colored Bearcat armored vehicle from the Mendocino County Sheriff''s Office has arrived on scene and was deployed to the apartment complex  between Weirup Lane and Park Street.

NOON UPDATE – Two Humboldt County Mental Health officers have arrived at the scene of a standoff on Sutter Road in McKinleyville. Mark Lammers PhD., crisis intervention team leader, and Eddie Pena, mental health clinician, have been enlisted to help diffuse the situation.

At least two residents have been evacuated. Residents have been repeatedly asked to stay inside their residences and keep their doors locked. More evacuations are under way.

Meanwhile, there are numerous residents hanging out near Central Avenue and Sutter Road, waiting to return to their homes.


McKINLEYVILLE – Law enforcement has converged on Sutter Road in McKinleyville, where earlier today there was a gun fight between a man and deputies.
Sutter Road is currently blocked off between Weirup Lane and Park Road, with residents in the area being advised to stay locked in their homes until further notice.

Deputies responded to the Redwood Creek Apartment Complex on the 1700 block of Sutter Road to a report of a disturbance at about 9 a.m. A man with a rifle reportedly shot at the apartment manager’s office.
When deputies arrived and set up a perimeter, the suspect allegedly shot at deputies, who returned fire.
There were no reports of injuries thus far.

In the parking lot of True Value Hardware, which is closed due to the incident, there are about 15 law enforcement vehicles, and a the Mobile Command Center.
The suspect is described as a white male, about 5’ 6” to 5’ 7” tall, balding, with gray hair, a mustache and wearing dark clothing. He had a long rifle.

An Arcata-Mad River Ambulance is on scene along with a fire truck. An office with the California Department of Fish & Wildlife has also arrived, as well as the California Highway Patrol and the investigators with the District Attorney’s Office.



  1. Marie# said:

    Why do the police get blamed for every thing? Anyone following the events unfold over the last 24 hours would see that law enforement on all levels worked continuously to try and bring a peaceful conclusion to this situation. He shot at the officers and firefighters unproveked, even as the fire fighters were trying to put the fire he started, out. When releaseing the women, he shot at the officers again. He was obviously unstable and his mindset deteriated as the night continued. It is sad that his mental state mayed him a victim, but uncontrolled esculating mania turned our law enforcement, fire fighters, and parimedics fictims too.

  2. 2016 Draft Options said:

    Facts suggest cops, tired of playing the waiting game, induced and instigated the killing by initiating a process to death when they shot a grenade into the apartment, thus pissing off the guy who defends himself encouragingly as if Al Pachino on the upper balcony in “SCARFACE” yelling out, “Say hello to my little friend.”


  3. Juanita said:

    I believe he wanted to die. If he had of wanted to hurt anyone there would have been a LOT of people dead as he was an extremely good marksman.

  4. ralph said:

    ‘overkill’, lol that’s good… and very accurate!

  5. Sandra said:

    Watching this live on periscope! This idiot just had a shootout with police! Tried to kill gf caroll for leaving the apartment! He still isnt giving up!

  6. Joe said:

    You can blame the cops for everything,but sooner or later we all need their help and expect them to put their lives out to safe our.Please don’t get shit started we don’t need that in our community.

  7. 2016 Draft Options said:

    Overkill by law enforcement in order to make invalud, false claims for more tax dollars.

    Pad the bill, get more grants.

    How many retardated cops does it take to screw in a light bulb? (Apparantly, not enough cops exist in Humboldt, so Mendocino County chumps are invited to the dance by our very own Downey fabric softener, softening the fabrications of law enforcements overkills).

    So, to whom does Thomas Home Center send a bill for the half day or more of lost business? Could be over $10,000.00 because of cops overkilling a tepid situation.

    Milkin’ it for what it is worth, Downey.

  8. 2016 Draft Options said:

    Psych medicine and a gun, good godless grief, how does a mentally ill person cope when mentally unstable.

    How is it that being on psych medicine is not an “eye opener” for SOMEBODY (better than nobody) asking the question, “do you own or have in or near your possession a fire arm?”

    Known to local law enforcement…..hmmmm, regarding what?

    Psychos with guns, gotta believe it is a problem in Humboldt too, not just Dallas.

  9. 2016 Draft Options said:

    Not surprising that a white man with a gun in Humboldt gets pissed off cuz the rent is too high.

Comments are closed.