The Napa County District Attorney will not criminally charge the sheriff’s deputy who shot an armed man to death in Napa in April, the DA’s office said Thursday.
Brandan Nylander, 24, of Napa, stole shotgun shells at a Napa Walmart store April 24 and fled, leading police on a vehicle pursuit ending on Airport Boulevard near the Napa County Airport, District Attorney Allison Haley said in a statement.
Nylander got out of his car holding a shotgun and sheriff’s Deputy Greg Lee shot four times until Mr. Nylander fell to the ground, Haley said.
“The use of deadly force by Deputy (Gregg) Lee was a reasonable and lawful response under the totality of the circumstances. Therefore, the actions were legally justified and criminal charges against him are neither warranted nor supported by the evidence.”
According to the DA’s report, Nylander was depressed, had been entertaining thoughts of suicide, and was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the shooting. A suicide note was later found in his home.
The incident was characterized by Napa County sheriff’s officials as “suicide by cop” on May 5, when the sheriff’s office released the last 20 seconds of a video of the pursuit that started after the burglary on April 24.
The video shows Nylander stopping his car at a gate on the outskirts of the Napa County Airport.
As Nylander gets out of his car with the shotgun, he turns and briefly faces the two deputies who parked behind his car. Sheriff’s Deputy Lee fires two shots that miss Nylander.
Nylander then turns to walk to the front of his car with the shotgun in his left hand and his arms raised at shoulder level. He is then struck by two more shots by Lee and drops to the ground.
Napa County Sheriff John Robertson said that one shot struck Nylander in the buttocks and the fatal shot struck Nylander near his skull.
The review released Thursday by the District Attorney’s Office is summarized in a report available on the county website at https://www.countyofnapa.org/1330/Documents.