Napa County shooting: Sheriff's Department releases graphic video of deputy shooting suspect after chase

ByAlix Martichoux KGO logo
Tuesday, May 5, 2020
Napa County releases graphic video of officer-involved shooting
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT. The video shows the suspect holding a shotgun with his back turned as he is shot and killed by a deputy.

NAPA, Calif. (KGO) -- The Napa County Sheriff's Department released a graphic video Tuesday showing the moment a deputy shot and killed a robbery suspect after a chase.

WARNING: The video above contains graphic content and viewer discretion is advised.

The shooting occurred on April 24 after suspect Brandan Nylander robbed a Napa Walmart, Sheriff John Robertson said. According to the sheriff, Nylander left his home with a tactical shotgun, drove to Walmart, smashed a glass ammunition case with a hammer and robbed the store of ammo while assaulting an employee.

Walmart employees gave law enforcement a description of Nylander and his vehicle. Deputy Greg Lee located Nylander 15 minutes later driving on State Route 29. The deputy and his partner chased Nylander through Napa until the suspect drove onto a service road and stopped his car in front of a locked gate.

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Dash camera video shows Nylander opening his door and stepping out with a shotgun. Deputy Lee fired two shots, both of them missing Nylander. That's when Sheriff Robertson said Lee "assesses the threat" and saw his two shots "had no effect" on Nylander. He fires another two shots, both of which hit Nylander. The fourth shot was fatal, Robertson said.

The video shows Nylander was facing away from the deputies and moving toward the front of his vehicle when he was shot.

"When I saw this video for the first time without factual context I was shocked at what I saw," said Sheriff Robertson in a press conference Tuesday. After reviewing the evidence, he added, "I reached the conclusion that had I been in the same situation with the same timeline, I would have taken the exact same action as Deputy Lee had taken."

All four shots were fired within four seconds, said the sheriff. Medical attention was on the scene within two minutes, he said.

"This is a tragedy for everyone involved. It's a tragedy for Mr. Nylander and his family and it's a tragedy for Deputy Lee and his family," said Sheriff Robertson.

The deputy's fatal use of force is under investigation.