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Four American Canyon police officers shot the driver of a stolen truck in a field after he pointed a “shiny metallic object” at them after a pursuit Friday night, a Napa County sheriff’s captain said. The object turned out to be a silver-colored, metal, 4.5-inch opened multi-tool that the suspected car thief, 27-year-old Angelo D. Moreno, used to simulate a firearm, Capt. Tracey Stuart said.
Results of the autopsy are still pending, but the preliminary cause of death is multiple gunshot wounds, and Moreno, a homeless man from the Vallejo and Martinez area, tested “presumptive positive” for the presence of methamphetamine and marijuana, Stuart said. The “presumptive positive” test indicated the presence of methamphetamine and marijuana pending confirmation in lab tests that will also determine the levels of the drugs, Stuart said.
Moreno had a glass pipe in his mouth, repeatedly reached to his mouth and other areas of the truck and failed to obey the officers’ repeated commands, Stuart said. Moreno reached over toward the passenger side of the truck and “came up with a shiny metallic object, held it as if it was a firearm, and pointed it toward the officers on the driver’s side of the truck,” Stuart said. The three officers on the driver’s side and the officer on the passenger’s side of the truck then fired at Moreno, who was then pronounced dead at the scene, Stuart said.
American Canyon police tried to stop the white 1991 Mazda pickup with no license plates around 10 p.m. Friday, Stuart said. The truck was reported stolen earlier in the day from Rodeo, Stuart said. Moreno didn’t stop and led police in a short pursuit that ended north of the dead end of Newell Drive in American Canyon where the truck got stuck in a field, Stuart said.
The officers involved and their length of law enforcement service are Sgt. Mike Hunter, 17 years; Deputy Cullen Dodd, 10 years; Deputy Bryan Schultz, 17 years; and Deputy Kenneth VanDyke, almost two years, Stuart said. All the officers are on paid administrative leave but are expected to return to work next week, Stuart said. The Napa and Calistoga police departments, Napa County Sheriff’s Office and Napa County District Attorney’s Office are investigating the shooting.
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