The following is compiled from articles released in
the Chico Enterprise-Record.
When Hunter called
for backup to assist him in investigating the reported theft of a gun
from a tavern owner in remote Inskip, July 26th, a Thursday, night, Estes
was off duty in civilian clothes on an administrative errand nearby when
he answered the call.
It was the last
time anyone in uniform saw either officer alive.
That was Larry
- he realized he was the closest man and he went; that pretty much says
it all, observed sheriff's Lt. Bill Anderson.
was a sheriff's administrator, he would frequently back up patrol officers.
Hunter and Estes
entered the cabin to determine if he (Bracklow) was there or to effect
an arrest, said Mackenzie
. Hunter entered
first, then Estes. Both Estes and Hunter had their weapons drawn prior
to entering the cabin. Their was a heightened awareness and Estes had
donned his vest and badge, said Mackenzie.
The small size
of the cabin forced the officers to walk single file.
the hallway while Estes was still in the front room. Bracklow emerged
from the back room and shot Hunter three times in the head.
Hunter fell backwards,
over the fallen officer, entered the front room and stood toe-to-toe with
Estes as the two exchanged a volley of gun fire.
Estes was shot
in the upper right torso, both hands and in the groin. One bullet hit
the vest, Mackenzie continued. Bullets from Brackwell's gun hit Estes'
gun, causing it to jam.
Estes fell by
the front door. He managed to fire six rounds.
The wound to
Estes' upper torso was the fatal wound. The bullet entered just below
the shoulder joint, right above the protective vest.
hit three times. He lived long enough to attempt to bandage his wounds.
He collapsed in the hallway, across Hunter. Bracklow fired eight rounds.
was over in a matter of seconds. Ramsey confirmed that Bracklow was naked
when the deputies encountered him. When asked to speculate why, Ramsey
responded: We know the dance, we don't know all the steps.
believe Bracklow may have just taken a shower before the arrival of the
confirmed that Bracklow had been drinking - his blood alcohol level was
.06 - but had not taken any mind-altering drugs.
that Bracklow was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and having paranoid
tendencies. He added that Bracklow's family has been cooperating with
the investigation and that they were very remorseful.
to the Inskip area for a reason: he was awaiting the apocalypse. The most
rational motive investigators have found is that he feared the officers
were there to evict him from the cabin.
The cabin was
his place of safety and hiding, said Ramsey.
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