Supervisor Richard Forster previews the Amador County Supervisor's meeting for May 26, 2015.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015 16:51

Press Release, Officer Involved Shooting

On Saturday, February 7, 2015, the Amador County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from a residence in Pine Grove reporting that a male who was distraught over a pending divorce, showed up at the house, confronted his estranged wife and family while brandishing a shotgun, and fled the scene in his personal vehicle.  Jopes was reported to be armed with an AR-15 rifle and was a trained military sniper.  A responding deputy located Jopes in his vehicle on Highway 88 in Pine Grove and activated his overhead lights in attempt to stop him near the intersection of Ridge Road and New York Ranch Road, but Jopes fled at a high rate of speed.  A Sutter Creek police officer and another deputy joined the pursuit.  Spike strips were deployed on Ridge Road near Running Gold Road, but Jopes swerved onto the north roadway shoulder to avoid them.  Jopes continued on west bound Ridge Road, through Sutter Hill, turning left onto Locomotive Lane, momentarily slowed at a stop sign on Boxcar Boulevard, and continued to the end of a cul-de-sac.


The deputy in the lead pursuit patrol vehicle noticed a sedan parked to the right of the cul-de-sac and radioed to the other officers that there were civilians in the car.  At this point, the Sutter Creek patrol vehicle and another Sheriff’s patrol vehicle had arrived blocking Jopes’s exit.  Another deputy pursuit vehicle arrived as well.  Fearing for the safety of the civilians, the deputy in the lead pursuit vehicle pulled his vehicle between the civilian’s and Jopes’s vehicle.  When this deputy exited his vehicle he observed through Jopes’s driver’s side window the barrel of a shotgun pointed upward inside the truck where Jopes was seated.  The deputy told Jopes to “Drop the gun!  Drop the gun!”  The other deputies and the Sutter Creek officer also commanded Jopes to “Drop the gun,” but Jopes ignored the orders. Jopes then opened the driver’s side door, turned to his left and looked at them while holding the shotgun up in front of his body with his left hand up and the right hand lower to the ground (port arms position).  Jopes then pointed the shotgun down so that his right hand was now higher and the left hand was lower to the ground (low ready position).  Jopes was holding the gun in a tactical manner that demonstrated his proclivity in the use of firearms.  Jopes said nothing during this time, maintaining a blank, glazed stare.  Jopes placed a cigarette in his mouth and lit it, which caused all the deputies concerns regarding his motivation.  All deputies repeated their command that Jopes drop the gun, which were again ignored.  At this point, all three deputies at the scene and the Sutter Creek officer believed that the two civilians and themselves were in immediate danger given Jopes’s actions and that deadly force may have to be deployed.  Jopes then stepped out of the truck in a deliberate and tactical manner with the shotgun still held in the low ready position pointed in the general direction of the deputies, causing all three deputies to fire.


Jopes fell to the ground, but was still holding the shotgun as he rolled underneath the truck.  Jopes lost his grasp of the weapon as he rolled, causing about a three foot separation between his body and the shotgun.  One of the deputies kicked the shotgun away from Jopes and pulled him out from under the truck and handcuffed him, whereupon they administered first aid for a gunshot wound to his right shoulder.  Jopes said that he wasn’t going to shoot the deputies, rather, he was going to shoot himself.  At the hospital, Jopes told District Attorney Investigator Ron Rios that he just wanted to harm himself.  Jopes claimed that he yelled out of his door that he wasn’t going to shoot the deputies, but they either didn’t hear it or perhaps he didn’t state it loud enough.  All three deputies, the Sutter Creek officer and the two civilians stated that they never heard Jopes say anything prior to opening fire.  Jopes admitted to Investigator Rios that the deputies were just doing their job.  “I had a fucking gun and I was acting crazy so they did what they had to do.”  Jopes acknowledged that he heard the deputies clearly state that he was to put the gun down.  While en route to the hospital, Jopes was overheard by a deputy to say that he was getting ready to put his gun on the ground.


At the time they fired at Jopes, the deputies had received information that a distraught Jopes had confronted his estranged wife and her family with a shotgun, had fled the scene while armed in his personal vehicle, and was a military trained sniper.  He thereafter engaged the deputies in a high speed pursuit, wherein he swerved to avoid spike strips meant to disable his vehicle.  Finally, at the cul-de-sac on Locomotive drive, cornered in, Jopes was seen to be in possession of a shotgun, refused orders to drop the gun, lit a cigarette, opened the driver’s side door, and exited in a deliberate and tactical manner while holding the shotgun in the low ready position.  He did not appear like a man who was about to surrender, but like a man who posed an immediate risk to the safety of all present. 


Based upon the known facts and reasonable inferences to be drawn therefrom, all three deputies were legally justified in shooting Jopes.  They all acted in self-defense and the defense of civilians against an imminent and deadly threat posed by Jopes.  Under these circumstances, the deputies’ use of deadly force was both reasonable and appropriate, therefore, our office will take no criminal action against them.  All three deputies are to be commended for their cooperation, professionalism and patience during the course of this investigation. 

-Todd D. Riebe

District Attorney

Frank Halvorson and Jim Vinciguerra preview this week's preseason match up between the Colusa Redhawks and the Amador Thundering Herd.

First Quarter: The Colusa Redhawks take on the Amador Buffaloes at Amador High School.

Second Quarter: The Colusa Redhawks take on the Amador Buffaloes at Amador High School.

Sunday, 21 September 2014 19:21

TSPN Game of the Week Amador Homecoming 2014

Amador High School announces its 2014 Homecoming King and Queen.

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4th Quarter: The Colusa Redhawks take on the Amador Buffaloes at Amador High School.

Sunday, 21 September 2014 19:14

Real Estate Today September 20, 2014

Jackie Malhotra discusses Mother Lode real estate prospects with broker/owner Gail Harris.

Frank Halvorson and Jim Vinciguerra preview this week's preseason match up between the Bear River Buins and the Argonaut Mustangs.

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