BLUE LAKE, Calif. (AP) — Humboldt County sheriff’s deputies shot and killed a man after they say he came toward them with a garden rake handle.

Authorities say a hitchhiker called 911 on Saturday morning to report that he was being assaulted by a man with a metal garden rake.

Two deputies responded to the report and saw the assault continuing on Highway 299 just west of town of Blue Lake. By that point, the claws of the rake had broken off, and the two men were struggling over the handle.

Lt. Steve Knight says the suspect then turned his attention toward the deputies and raised the rake handle as if to strike them, prompting one of them to open fire. Knight says the suspect continued advancing even after being shot, so the deputy fired again.

The suspect died at the scene. His name has not been released.

Comments (2)
  1. James Adams says:

    Assault with intent to cultivate? Raking and pillaging? Assault with a short broken stick? What if he’d spoken harshly, would he have gotten a warning shot into the back of his head?

    Would he have faced a “special circumstances” penalty for brandishing a soda straw?

    The problem with hiring police officers sometimes is that you don’t want to hire the kind of person who would want the job.

  2. Rick Dujour says:

    Apparently, you have never been assaulted with a 1.5″ diameter piece of solid hardwood before. Take a strike to the teeth, or the temple perhaps, and then tell me you wouldn’t be afraid for your life- especially if it was a complete stranger hell bent on hurting you. Go ahead…ask your neighbor to smack you in the face a few times as hard as he can, and come back and give us your evaluation. I guarantee that after a few weeks recovery in the hospital, you’ll be the one brandishing a soda straw…to eat through.

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