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DA: Officers Who Shot At Suspect Along I-5 Justified

The Shasta County District Attorney’s Office has found no fault in the actions of Redding Police Officers who shot at a man last December following a high speed chase. 42-year-old Benjamin David Larson was wanted for stealing a van full of show dogs from the In-and-Out B Burger parking lot in June of last year. On December 6th, a Redding Police Officer spotted a stolen Honda Civic on Highway 273 near South Bonnyview. He followed it onto Interstate 5 southbound. Larson stopped briefly on the Knighton Road offramp to allow a woman to jump from the car and conceal herself. The pursuit then reached speeds of around 115 miles an hour until it reached Cottonwood and Larson took the Gas Point Road exit and got back onto the freeway northbound. After crossing a spike strip laid down by a deputy at Riverside Avenue in Anderson, the Honda stopped with flat tires a little south of Knighton Road. Larson fired shots at the officers and they returned fire. After a while officers approached the car and found Larson dead. An autopsy showed he had not been struck by police gunfire, but had died of a self-inflicted gunshot to the head. Larson’s accomplice in the show dog van theft, 29-year-old Billy Jo Patterson, made a plea deal and was sentenced to 3 years in prison.