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Contra Costa Co. sheriff’s office identifies deputy in fatal shootout

The Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office has identified the deputy who fatally shot a Discovery Bay man Wednesday morning.

Matthew Gauthier has been with the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office for more than eight years. He was placed on administrative leave.

The shooting unfolded shortly after 9:30 a.m. when Gauthier and another deputy were finishing up a call on Adelaide Drive in unincorporated Pacheco.

Gauthier noticed Paul Ridgeway, who had an outstanding warrant, standing near Pacheco Boulevard and Adelaide Drive, the sheriff’s office said.

When Gauthier tried to contact him, Ridgeway reached into his waistband while running away, prompting a pursuit, according to the sheriff’s office.

Gauthier ordered Ridgeway to show his hands and tried to physically control him, sheriff’s officials said. During a struggle, Ridgeway allegedly pulled a firearm from his waistband and fired a shot, which missed Gauthier’s head. Gauthier returned fire and hit Ridgeway who died at the scene, according to the sheriff’s office.

The shooting scene was processed Wednesday. Ridgeway was face down on the ground and when technicians turned his body over they found a loaded gun with his finger on the trigger, according to the sheriff’s office.

An extended gun magazine was found in Ridgeway’s pocket and an expended bullet casing was found near Ridgeway, sheriff’s officials said.

Ridgeway was allegedly a member of the Family Affiliated Irish Mafia and an associate of the Nazi Low Riders, which are white supremacist prison and street gangs, according to the sheriff’s office.

Ridgeway had a no-bail warrant for evading and resisting arrest from another county, sheriff’s officials said. He also had extensive prior contacts with law enforcement that included drug possession, assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a stolen vehicle and possession of burglary tools and parole violations, according to the sheriff’s office.

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