Hayward, CA – After discharging his firearm into a wall and repeatedly stabbing his stepson with a power drill, the police chief of Sonoma State University is currently under investigation according to Alameda County sheriff’s officials. Although the chief fired a gun inside his house and his stepson required medical attention, no one was placed under arrest or charged with a crime.
Around 10:30 p.m. on Monday, Alameda County sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of shots fired at Sonoma State University Police Chief Nathan Johnson’s house in Hayward. Deputies found Johnson at the residence with a cut to his head, while his 20-year-old stepson, Elijah Latimer, was discovered at a neighbor’s house suffering from multiple stab wounds to his chest.
“We’ve got a ton of conflicting stories, so it’s kind of hard to sort everything out,” sheriff’s Sgt. J.D. Nelson admitted. “They had some sort of an argument, we know that, but how it escalated into a stabbing with a drill and gunplay is the million-dollar question.”
According to sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly, Johnson apparently fired a warning shot into a wall with his off-duty gun during a physical altercation with his stepson. While Johnson and Latimer gave deputies conflicting accounts of the incident, Johnson’s wife, who is Latimer’s mother, was also inside the house during the fight but refused to speak with the police.
“That’s also part of the investigation — who the aggressor was, and was it self-defense?” Sgt. Nelson asked.
Unwilling to press charges against each other, Johnson and Latimer were taken to a local hospital and treated for their wounds. During a press conference on Tuesday, Sgt. Kelly disclosed that Latimer had been treated for a possible collapsed lung.
“It looks like during the altercation Johnson had probably stabbed him with the power drill,” Kelly stated. “We don’t know if it was a weapon of opportunity, or a self-defense tool. We’re looking into all of that.”
Kelly did not know whether the drill was running when Johnson continuously stabbed his stepson.
Unable to determine who started the fight or if the off-duty police chief had been justified in using lethal weapons during the incident, the cops decided not to arrest anyone before immediately handing off the case to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. While the D.A.’s office investigates the fight and determines whether to file criminal charges, Johnson remains in office with no comment from Sonoma State or police officials.
Serving as a law enforcement officer for over 35 years, Johnson initially became police chief at Sonoma State in 1999. Incapable of subduing his 20-year-old stepson during a domestic dispute, Johnson claims he had to recklessly fire his gun into a wall and incessantly stab Latimer with a power drill because he felt that his life was threatened.
Regardless of how the fight started, Johnson remains a glaring example of the two-tiered justice system dividing cops and civilians. Had Johnson not been a police chief, the deputies would have immediately arrested a bloodstained man who just shot a wall and repeatedly stabbed his stepson in the chest with a power drill.
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