Sonoma Valley deputies shot a man after emergency dispatchers receive three separate 911 calls in one night.
Nathan James Smart, 43, was holding a ghost gun when deputies shot him. According to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office, Smart suffered two gunshot wounds and is expected to survive.
The two deputies involved in the shootings were not injured and were placed on paid administrative leave.
The first 911 call reporting Smart was at 6:45 p.m. Saturday. According to deputies, Smart was making death threats against a family member and himself at a residence on Clayton Street in Sonoma.
Smart fled the area when deputies arrived.
“Deputies confirmed that Smart threatened to kill a family member, but no one had been injured,” police stated. The Sheriff’s Office launched a helicopter to search for Smart and ordered residents to shelter in place. Deputies suspended the search at 9:40 p.m. after they found no signs of his whereabouts.
Twenty minutes later, another 911 call reported a man was breaking several vehicles’ windows in a parking lot on West Napa Street. “Smart was breaking the windows of businesses and several parked vehicles,” the SCSO wrote. Smart slipped away again before deputies arrived.
Deputies were still investigating the broken windows when a third 911 call came in, reporting Smart was armed with a gun on First Street on the west side of Sonoma Plaza.
“At 10:15 pm, a SCSO Deputy located Smart in a parking lot in the 100-block of West Napa St, on the south side of the roadway. Smart was holding a firearm. The deputy told Smart to drop the gun several times, but Smart refused to comply. Smart shot at a deputy at least one time. The deputy shot back at Smart, and then Smart ran south through the parking lot,” SCSO wrote.
Smart ran out from an alleyway, still holding the firearm, and ran toward deputies, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
“While running at deputies, Smart raised his firearm toward a second deputy. The second deputy shot at Smart, and then Smart fell to the ground. Deputies continued to give commands to Smart to prevent him from picking up his firearm,” SCSO wrote.
Two bullets fired by two deputies hit Smart. Deputies secured his firearm, and paramedics gave Smart medical aid before transporting him to the hospital. According to SCSO, Smart is currently in critical and stable condition and is expected to recover from his injuries.
The Sheriff’s Office said Smart’s crude, homemade firearm was an unlawful ghost gun commonly referred to as an “improvised firearm” or “zip gun.”
One of the deputies shot at Smart four times and one deputy shot at Smart three times.
The Santa Rosa Police Department and the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office will conduct an independent investigation into the events that led to the officer-involved shooting.