May 28, 2022
By KAREN VELIE
Three peace officers were justified in the fatal 2020 shooting of a 42-year-old man in Nipomo to stop his shooting, 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’s Deputies Daniel Weagle and Chelsea Stevenson “discharged firearms to stop the active shooter threat” that resulted in the death of Scott Huffman of Bakersfield. The District Attorney’s Office investigation details the shooting of Huffman on August 21, 2020.
At 11:22 a.m., brandishing a black handgun and shouting, Huffman ran toward the Vons gas station on Tefft Street in Nipomo. But an employee locks the door with an automatic locking system switch located under the counter. Huffman fires several shots at the door, as the store employees crawl towards a desk.
At 11:23 a.m., Huffman returns to his vehicle and reloads his pistol. Huffman heads to Tefft Street and pulls into traffic hitting a fire truck en route to a call for medical help. While replacing the magazine, Huffman yells, “Don’t fuck me, I’m the bad 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 remove her mask. He then reveals the weapon to the woman, her husband and their young son. After asking what the child’s name is, Hoffman lets them go.
At 11:29 a.m., the dispatch informed law enforcement 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 employees were still locked in the office of the gas station, the lock on the front door unlocks and five customers enter.
Huffman walks into the store, walks to the restroom, and says, “Honey, it’s okay.” He then fires three bullets into the door, kicks it down, and goes inside.
At 11:31 a.m., Huffman leaves the gas station with his gun pointed downward. Deputy Stevenson yells, “Put your hands up.” Huffman raises his gun.
At 11:31, Deputy Weagle yells, “Hey, put it down.” Ignoring the deputy’s order, Hoffman walks over to Weagle.
Deputy Weagle and Officer Jennings each fire a shot at Huffman, who falls forward and to the sidewalk. Appearing undeterred, Huffman lifts his upper body off the pavement using his forearms and elbows.
Officer Jennings fires two more shots and Deputy Stevenson fires one at Huffman, who dies at the scene.
Based on a lengthy investigation, Dow’s office determined that the use of lethal force was justified.
“There is reliable evidence that each officer’s actions were reasonable, necessary and justified in the totality of the circumstances when they shot or shot Scott Cameron Huffman,” the report said. “As a result, the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office has closed its investigation into this shooting incident.”