Details of the fatal shooting of a motorist in a Ripon neighborhood were provided by Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christiansen — whose deputy fired the shots — and Ripon Police Chief Ed Ormonde at a press conference Tuesday.
The Sheriff said he first wanted to acknowledge the victim’s family over Evin Nelson’s tragic loss of life. The 46-year-old woman was the owner of a Modesto restaurant and the mother of a 9-year-old boy. Her husband Hanibal Yadegar was quoted as saying his wife had shut him and his brother out of their house last Wednesday and wouldn’t let him return with her medications.
“These are very difficult situations,” the Sheriff said, “not only difficult for the families involved, but also for the officers on the scene.” He added that he is planning to sit down with her surviving spouse, and answer any questions he might have in the case.
Christensen pointed out that the incident began Sunday when a security guard at the Hampton Inn at Sisk and Dale roads near Highway 99 called 911. He gave dispatchers the description of a car that was leaving the premises and reported a woman driver who had allegedly been causing a disturbance inside the hotel. He noted that she was not a guest in the hotel and had been asked to leave shortly before 3 a.m.
“One of our deputies found the car leaving the parking lot and attempted a traffic stop but she failed to pull over,” the Sheriff said. Spikes strips were deployed and flattened her car’s tires, he added, but she drove on several surface streets through Salida before driving some six miles northbound on the freeway into Ripon. She ignored the officers demands to pull over in what was described as a slow speed chase with the use of a police car’s public address system, he added.
The Ripon Police Department was notified of the situation and asked for their assistance. Ripon officers quickly set up a road block at the Main Street off ramp. Chief Ormonde said she drove around his officers’ police units and continued on the ramp.
The Sheriff said that his deputies got her stopped on South Manley Road at Tornell Circle some four blocks inside the Ripon community. There were six deputy sheriffs and one teenage Explorer walking up behind her car when she allegedly put her vehicle into reverse, an act that was seen as a deadly threat to the officers. At that point one deputy fired into her car, and after she was hit. it drove across the entrance to Tornell Circle – turning right and proceeding to the end of the court.
The officers then conducted a felony stop trying to get her out of her Volkswagen Passat when she accelerated more than 100 feet directly into a home at the end of the court, crashing through a front window, he noted.
Officers attempted to revive the woman using CPR that was continued by the fire department medics but to no avail.
Ripon Police Chief Ed Ormonde who is heading up the investigation said that there were multiple contacts between his officers and the woman as she entered his jurisdiction. First, when she drove around their road block and second when she stopped at Tornell Circle and Manley Road where four shots were fired and lastly when they attempted to get her out of her car using a high risk stop protocol before she crashed into a home.
One resident who lives near the shooting scene said she and her daughter could hear repeated commands from the officers’ PA system telling the motorist to pull over and get out of her car as they drove down Manley.
Nelson had a Master’s degree in fine arts from the University of California at San Diego and had worked in theater productions across the country. She was also the owner of the Barking Dog Restaurant in Modesto.
The San Joaquin District Attorney’s Office is conducting an independent review of the shooting.
To contact Glenn Kahl, email email@example.com.