WILLITS, 2/14/18 -- The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office has released the name of the woman who was killed by law enforcement, after an alleged robbery which resulted in a high speed chase. Dawn Elika Center, 48, of Redwood Valley was the woman shot and killed by Mendocino County sheriff's deputies yesterday, Feb. 13.
Center allegedly stole a black Camaro from Thurston Auto Plaza and then led police on a high-speed chase up the Ridgewood Grade. She crashed the car past the north end of the Willits Bypass. According to a press release from the MCSO, she then "confronted" sheriff's deputies, and was shot and killed. She died at the scene. Today's updated press release indicates that three deputies were "involved" in the shooting, though it does not explain if all three fired their weapons, nor does it provide any information about how many bullets struck Center.
The three deputies have been placed on paid administrative leave, per MCSO protocol, and the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office is conducting an investigation into the shooting and killing of Center. The names of the deputies involved have not been released.
The Willits Police Department was also involved in the chase, but it does not appear that any of their officers was involved in the shooting.
Here is our coverage from yesterday with more details:
And here is the full press release:
DATE: "February 14, 2018"
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
211 PC (Robbery)
Officer Involved Shooting
Robbery: 2800 North State Street in Ukiah, CA
Officer Involved Shooting: MPM 49.10 in Willits, CA
Date of Incident:
Dawn Elika Center (48 year-old female from Redwood Valley, CA)
Captain Gregory L. Van Patten
ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE:
On 02-13-2018 at 9:25 AM the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office was notified of an armed robbery of a Chevrolet Camaro at Thurston Auto Plaza located at2800 North State Street in Ukiah, California.
The suspect was described as being a white female adult and the Camaro was last seen traveling at a high rate of speed northbound on Highway 101 towards Calpella.
A short time later a Mendocino County Deputy Sheriff saw the Camaro traveling at a high rate of speed northbound on Highway 101 near the CalFire Howard Forest station a few miles south of the city of Willits.
The Deputy Sheriff attempted a traffic stop of the Camaro and a pursuit ensued at speeds over 100 MPH onto the Highway 101 bypass.
Additional Mendocino County Deputy Sheriffs joined the pursuit with assistance from officers from the Willits Police Department.
A short time later the Camaro crashed along the roadside of Highway 101 at Mile Post Marker 49.10 north of the bypass.
A white female adult exited the Camaro while holding a handgun and subsequently confronted the pursuing Deputy Sheriffs and Officers.
A shooting resulted and the white female adult died at the scene. No Deputy Sheriffs or Officers were injured as a result of the shooting.
Investigators from the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office were summoned to the scene and will be the lead investigative agency.
All media inquiries into the incident or investigation are being directed to the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office.
Highway 101 was closed to both directions of traffic to preserve scene evidence and it was expected to remain closed for several hours.
UPDATED PRESS RELEASE:
On 02-14-2018 the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Coroner's Division identified the white female adult as being Dawn Elika Center a 48 year-old female from Redwood Valley, California.
The three Deputy Sheriffs involved in the shooting incident have all be placed on paid administrative leave in accordance with Sheriff's Office standard procedure, pending the ongoing investigation by the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office.
The three Deputy Sheriffs involved in the shooting incident have been employed at the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office for a total of 30 years, 11 years and 4 years respectively.
Captain Gregory L. Van Patten