2019 fatal shooting by Richmond police deemed lawful

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who had a restraining order against him for prior domestic violence incidents
Photo of the crime scene by Mike Kinney.

No charges will be filed against Richmond police officers who fatally shot a man who had been trying to stab family members to death in 2019, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.

The DA’s Office investigation concluded that police officers “lawfully shot and killed” Ciel on April 11, 2019.

“The facts show that the officers had probable cause to believe that Ciel posed a significant threat of death or great bodily injury, not only to himself, but to his family,” the DA’s Office said.

The incident unfolded about 2:33 a.m. on April 11, when Richmond police officers arrived at a home in the 900 block of Wilson Avenue on an urgent 911 call. Armed with weapons including two knives, Ciel, who had a restraining order against him for prior domestic violence incidents, broke into the home and stabbed and attempted to kill three family members, police said.

According to the DA’s recounting of the incidents leading up to the fatal shooting:

“Officers arrived at the scene and entered the residence from different locations. Officer Danielle Evans and Officer Jeffrey Tyner entered from the rear of the building. They noticed broken glass on the ground and could hear yelling from inside the house. The officers found one victim with blood on her face in the first room they entered. 
Officer Tyner proceeded to continue inside the house and saw Ciel with a knife standing over another victim. Ciel was in the process of attempting to stab this victim. Officer Tyner commanded Ciel to step away from the victim and drop his knife. Ciel refused to listen to the officer’s commands. Officer Tyner in turn fired his weapon three times. Officer Evans saw Ciel continue to stand up after he was hit and turned towards the officers. Officer Evans then fired her weapon once. 
Officer Terrance Jackson was also inside the residence and observed Tyner and Evans engaging with Ciel. Officer Jackson fired his weapon once after Ciel turned towards his fellow officers. Officer Jackson’s shot occurred simultaneously to Officer Evans’ shot.”

In Ciel’s pocket, officers found numerous black flex ties, and they another knife was found in the hallway near his body. He also had a knife sheath on his belt.

Ciel was pronounced deceased at the scene. He suffered four gunshot wounds and one stab wound. A toxicology report was negative for the presence of any substance, the DA’s Office said.

The OIS public report is available on the DA’s website.

In November 2020, a Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office Coroner’s Inquest Jury classified Ciel’s fatal shooting by police as a suicide.