Sheriff's Office: Officer Who Shot, Killed Half Moon Bay Teen Felt His Life Was in Danger

Sheriff's officials say the woman was holding a knife.

Screenshot from KTVU.com of Yanira Serrano-Garcia.
Screenshot from KTVU.com of Yanira Serrano-Garcia.
By Bay City News Service:     

An 18-year-old woman shot and killed by a San Mateo County sheriff's deputy near Half Moon Bay Tuesday night was wielding a kitchen knife and came at the deputy in a threatening manner, according to San Mateo County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Dep. Rebecca Rosenblatt.

 Rosenblatt said San Mateo County Sheriff's Dep. Mehn Trieu, felt his life was in danger and had a split second to make the decision to discharge his weapon, killing Yanira Serrano-Garcia.

 The incident took place at about 9:20 p.m. at the Moonridge housing complex on Miramontes Point Road.

 Trieu has been in law enforcement for nine years, and has been with the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office for several years, Rosenblatt said.

According to Rosenblatt, the last officer-involved shooting in the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office was in 2013, and in that case, the person shot was not killed. The last time an officer-involved shooting ended with the death of a suspect was in 2008.

 "Those statistics speak for themselves, but it's unfortunate that once in a while deputies are forced to use their weapons, and this was one of those cases," Rosenblatt said.

 The information received by emergency personnel who responded to the incident was that the woman was acting erratically and violently and had a knife. The woman's family asked her to put the knife down, and when she didn't comply, family members called the fire department for medical assistance, Rosenblatt said.

 Rosenblatt explained that in a situation where a person may be a danger to emergency personnel, sheriff's deputies are the first to respond to make sure the scene is safe for medical and fire crews.

 The fire department was staging nearby while deputies secured the scene. Rosenblatt said that within about 20 seconds of arriving on the scene, the shooting occurred.

 Trieu is on paid administrative leave while the incident is investigated, Rosenblatt said.

 No deputies were injured in the incident.

 A joint investigation by the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office and the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office is underway.

MadMonkey June 05, 2014 at 03:20 PM
There seems to be some conflicting info going around on this case. If the shooting occurred within 20 seconds of the deputy arriving, then how was he able to engage with her, run away from her, and then turn and shoot her as the previous statement informed us? I have also read from witness accounts that she was shot in the back. How does that figure into fearing for his life? When a shooting takes place within 20 seconds of the deputy arriving it leads me to believe that there was no attempt to talk to the woman to calm her down. No effort to do anything other than shoot the woman carrying a knife. It means he showed up, found the woman, and shot her in short order. Something is not right here with the information that we have been given.
Phillip Bailey June 05, 2014 at 05:26 PM
Black Eye on the Sheriff Department Coast-side :-(
Jon DeLong June 06, 2014 at 12:13 PM
What happened to tasers & stun guns? It seems like there are tons of these "shoot first, ask questions later" types of events all over the country. Our supposed protectors have turned into killers. After reading something like this people are going to think twice about calling medical personnel for help with unstable relatives.
Michael G. Stogner June 18, 2014 at 10:47 PM
What is San Mateo County's Policy/Business Plan for first responders in mental health issue calls?


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