The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office has identified four deputies who were involved in the fatal shooting of a domestic violence suspect last month.Nicodemus Sullivan, 24, of Petaluma, was shot 11 times near his mother and stepfather’s house on Oct. 29 after he allegedly violated a restraining order prohibiting him from visiting their home. Two wounds he suffered to the chest were fatal, according to an autopsy.The deputies involved were James Falberg, 38; Katie Flohr, 27; Shawn Forghani, 28; and Gregory Hals, 37.The sheriff’s office delayed releasing their names until it was determined there was no threat to their safety.Eight sheriff’s deputies, two sheriff’s sergeants and a California Highway Patrol officer were present when Sullivan was shot after he drove his 1995 Nissan Altima toward parked sheriff’s patrol cars on Hargrave Avenue south of Santa Rosa on Oct. 29. Thirty shots were fired at the car, according to Santa Rosa police, the agency investigating the shooting.Santa Rosa police said Sullivan was arrested for possessing a loaded shotgun in front of the house on Sept. 4 and for making threats against his stepfather on Oct. 10. He was jailed and released Oct. 28.He returned to the house around 7 p.m. on Oct. 28 but left. A stop and hold order authorizing his arrest for violating the restraining order was issued, Santa Rosa police Lt. Paul Henry said.On Oct. 29, he returned at 7 p.m. but left before sheriff’s deputies arrived. He went back around 10 p.m. and was backing his car out of the driveway when the first deputy arrived.The deputy called for other deputies when Sullivan refused to get out of his car, Henry said. After 30 minutes of unsuccessful negotiations, deputies broke his passenger side window so a police dog could apprehend him and shot Sullivan with a Taser through the driver’s window, Henry said.Sullivan accelerated toward the parked patrol cars, striking a car where a female deputy had been seen standing, Henry said. Fearing the deputy had been struck, the deputies and CHP officer fired.When Sullivan kept driving, deputies fired again before his car stopped.Sullivan was shot again when deputies thought he was reaching for a weapon on the right floorboard of the car. He was pronounced dead on arrival at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.Falberg has worked with the sheriff’s office since 2006 and as a correctional deputy,sheriff’s Lt. Matt McCaffrey said. He was in the U.S. Marine Corps between 1993 and 1996.Flohr has worked as a sheriff’s deputy since 2007 and has been in the U.S. Coast Guard since 2005.Forghani has been a deputy sheriff since 2006 and was a University of California, San Francisco Police Department officer between 2005 and 2006, McCaffrey said. Hals was a sheriff’s office correctional deputy between 2006 and 2008, when he became a deputy sheriff, McCaffrey said The four deputies are on paid administrative leave and will be
evaluated by a mental health professional before returning to duty, McCaffrey said.
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Stephan J. Dougan, Personal Injury Attorney
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