By KAREN VELIE
Three peace officers were justified in the fatal 2020 shooting of a 42-year-old man in Nipomo in order to stop his shooting spree, according to a report released Friday by the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office.
The report, signed by District Attorney Dan Dow, says CHP Officer Jason Jennings and sheriff deputies Daniel Weagle and Chelsea Stevenson “discharged firearms to stop the active shooter threat” which resulted in the death of Scott Huffman of Bakersfield. The District Attorney Office’s investigation details Huffman’s Aug. 21, 2020 shooting spree.
At 11:22 a.m., wielding a black handgun and yelling, Huffman ran towards the Vons gas station on Tefft Street in Nipomo. But a clerk lock the door through an automatic locking system switch located below the counter. Huffman fires multiple shots at the door, while the store clerks crawl to an office.
At 11:23 a.m., Huffman returns to his vehicle and reloads his pistol. Huffman walks towards Tefft Street and shoots into traffic striking a firetruck on route to a medical aid call. While replacing the magazine, Huffman yells, ” Don’t fuck with me, I’m the wrong motherfucker.”
At 11:24 a.m., brandishing his pistol, Huffman stops a small SUV. He opens the driver’s side door and orders the woman to take off her mask. He then reveals the gun to the woman, her husband and their young son. After asking what the child’s name is, Hoffman lets them drive away.
At 11:29 a.m., dispatch informs peace officers that Huffman was seen with a gun in his hand near Coast Hills Credit Union, about 100 yards from the Vons gas station. Even though the clerks were still locked in the gas station office, the front door lock releases and five customers enter.
Huffman enters the store, walks to the restroom and says, “Honey it’s all right.” He then fires three rounds into the door, kicks it in and goes inside.
At 11:31 a.m., Huffman leaves the gas station with his pistol pointed downward. Deputy Stevenson yells, “Put your hands in the air.” Huffman raises his gun.
Deputy Weagle yells, “Hey, put it down.” Ignoring the deputy’s command, Hoffman walks towards Weagle.
Deputy Weagle and officer Jennings fire one round each at Huffman, who falls forward and onto the pavement. Appearing undeterred, Huffman lifts his upper body off the pavement using his forearms and elbows.
Officer Jennings fires two more rounds and deputy Stevenson fires one round at Huffman, who dies at the scene.
Based on a lengthy investigation, Dow’s office determined the use of deadly force was justified.
“There is reliable evidence that each officers’ actions were reasonable, necessary, and justified under the totality of the circumstances when they shot or shot at Scott Cameron Huffman,” according to the report. “Accordingly, the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office has closed its inquiry into this shooting incident.”