The police officers who shot a man who allegedly threatened to kill them during a pursuit in Tehachapi will not face criminal charges, according to a statement from District Attorney Lisa Green.
Richard William Kollin was shot by Tehachapi police officers Jared McCombs and Bruce Medina on May 24, 2017.
McCombs and Medina responded to the parking lot of the Holiday Inn Express just after 10 p.m. for reports of suspicious activity, where they found a man later identified as Kollin, according to the DA’s office.
The officers questioned Kollin, who gave them a false name, and conducted a pat-down and search of his vehicle, the DA’s office said.
Marijuana was found in Kollin’s vehicle and officers were informed by dispatch that the name Kollin gave them was not matching their database.
Kollin was told by officers they would have to take him into custody to verify his identity, and Kollin ran away, according to the statement.
Officers pursued Kollin into a nearby field, where Medina “performed a leg sweep” and fired his taser in an effort to stop him, according to the DA’s office.
During the altercation, both officers claim they heard Kollin say “I’m going to kill you, I have a gun,” and saw him “holding up his loose shorts with one hand while making a digging motion near his waistband,” the statement says.
McCombs fired first, followed by Medina.
Kollin was struck twice, and taken to a hospital for treatment.
No gun was found on Kollin’s person, but one was later found in his car, the DA said.
Kollin later told investigators he ran from officers because he felt threatened and that he yelled “I don’t have a gun” multiple times, according to the statement.
Kollin also said officers did not conduct a pat-down, which was contradicted by surveillance video of the parking lot obtained by the DA.
Investigators also spoke to Kollin’s ex-girlfriend, who told them Kollin had expressed he “had no intention of going back” to jail, and he would “force the officers to kill him,” according to the DA’s office.
Kollin, who had been out on felony probation related to a Los Angeles County case, denied ever making that statement.
“Kollin had a seven year suspended sentence attached to his probation from LA County, meaning that he would be sentenced to a seven year prison term if he violated the law,” the DA’s office said.
Medical professionals concluded Kollin’s wounds were “consistent with him being shot while turning back towards his pursuers with his arm raised and extended, as Officer McCombs indicated in his statement,” according to the DA’s office.
An independent investigation into the officer-involved shooting concluded it was justified.