Home Contra Costa County District Attorney: Walnut Creek Police Officers Shooting of Resident Deemed Legal

District Attorney: Walnut Creek Police Officers Shooting of Resident Deemed Legal

by ECT
District Attorney

Martinez, Calif. – The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office concludes there is insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution of Officer KC Hsiao and Officer Melissa Murphy in the 2019 fatal shooting of Miles Hall. The DA’s Office released a public report about the shooting today. No charges will be filed against any officer involved in this shooting.

On June 2, 2019, at 4:40 p.m., an emergency call was received by the California Highway Patrol about a disturbance at a home in Walnut Creek where Mr. Hall resided. The individual that made the emergency call was a family member of Mr. Hall. At approximately the same time, a neighbor also called 911 about a disturbance at the same residence. The neighbor saw Mr. Hall running outside the residence. A third neighbor called 911 and reported that Mr. Hall had just pounded on their front door and was carrying a black steel digging tool. The tool was measured to be 4 feet 11 inches long and weighed 15 pounds. Another witness also called 911 and reported that Mr. Hall chased their vehicle on foot as they drove through the neighborhood.

At 4:51 p.m., the initial two officers arrived on the scene to respond. As additional officers arrived, a staging area near Orchard Lane and Lancaster Road was set up. The four officers discussed how they would respond once they encountered Mr. Hall. All four officers were aware of a previous incident where Mr. Hall had brandished a knife at Walnut Creek police officers, and they used less than lethal force to take him into custody for a mental health hold. Additionally, paramedics from Contra Costa County Fire Protection District were called to the scene.

Mr. Hall was near 140 Arlene Lane when four officers attempted to contact him. They gave him commands to stop running and to drop the digging tool. Mr. Hall did not respond to those commands and began running in the general direction of the officers with the digging tool in his hand.

Officer Matt Smith, armed with the less than lethal beanbag shogun, fired four rounds at Mr. Hall in an attempt to stop him. Mr. Hall continued to run in the officer’s direction despite being hit with less than lethal force. At this point, Officers Hsiao and Murphy discharged their department issued handguns at Mr. Hall. Ultimately, Mr. Hall was struck by four rounds and fell to the ground. Mr. Hall was restrained in handcuffs and the officers began performing life saving measures until the paramedics arrived. Mr. Hall was taken to John Muir Hospital and was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.

The DA’s Office and every law enforcement agency in Contra Costa County has adopted the Law Enforcement Involved Fatal Incidents Protocol (“the Protocol”) to investigate incidents when officers or civilians are shot or die during an encounter with law enforcement. Under the Protocol, the DA’s Office investigates all officer-involved shootings in Contra Costa County for the purpose of making an independent determination of criminal liability. The sole purpose of the District Attorney investigation is to determine if there is proof beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime was committed during a fatal encounter with law enforcement.

The OIS public report is available on our website.

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Kim Shaw May 7, 2021 - 11:54 pm

My parents live in that neighborhood and that guy had been getting out and threatening people for a long time. He should have been placed in a mental hospital! People got sick of this and who can blame them. I begged my parents to move out of there! I feared for them.

Dawn May 8, 2021 - 3:34 pm

This guy had been a major nuisance for years! I had friends living there and they said he threatened to burn down the neighborhood. They then sold their house and moved for the sake of safety. He was totally out-of-control! Now, this problem has finally been resolved.

Lauren May 9, 2021 - 2:46 am

I have friend living there and they got sick of that guy terrorizing the neighborhood and nothing was done by the people he lived with. My friends and I would meet in downtown WC and visit. I refused to drive into their area. You never know when he’d cut loose.

Lance truscott May 9, 2021 - 11:40 pm

For casual readers of this type of investigation, it might appear that the officers were somehow suspected of criminal activity. That is not true. The wording in this article is based on the function of the District Attorney’s Office in an officer involved shooting. Their focus is not on whether the officers acted legally. They are tasked with examining whether officers did anything illegal. That is the lens they work through, so the wording ‘ whether the officers committed a crime’ are based on the purpose of the inquiry and not some suspicion they did anything wrong. By the way, it appears they performed a professional, multi-faceted tactical response. Sometimes the offender drives the action.

Karen Livingston May 10, 2021 - 2:34 pm

The lesson to be learned from this is that if you have a family member with such problems, he or she should either be placed in a facility where they are constantly supervised or you supervise them yourselves, 24/7. Don’t let him out to terrorize the neighborhood!

Rich Jenkins May 11, 2021 - 12:51 am

The family should be grateful that the police took care of a problem which has existed for many years. Instead, they hire that “lawya” from Oakland (how appropriate) to harass the WC police.

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