Whitefish Man Killed by California Officers

By Beacon Staff

WHITEFISH — Northern California law enforcement officers shot and killed a 32-year-old Whitefish man last week after they say he got into a “violent struggle” with them, attempted to drive away in a patrol car, grabbed an officer’s stun gun and tried to hurt a police dog, authorities said.

The confrontation began Thursday when Steven Hughes Henning set a fire on a wood porch at a bus stop, police in Weed, Calif., said in a statement. Officers said Henning refused to put out the fire and combatively resisted arrest despite being shocked with a stun gun.

Police said the altercation continued, with an officer using pepper spray on Henning during a “violent struggle” after he jumped into a patrol car and tried to drive away. He eventually picked up the officer’s stun gun and ran off.

Officers found Henning later that night and said he again violently resisted arrest and tried to injure a police dog.

Both a Weed police officer and a Siskiyou County deputy shot Henning. He died at the scene, police said.

Both officers were placed on paid administrative leave.

Henning’s brother, Cody Henning, told KCFW-TV that his brother had mental health issues and that he thinks the use of deadly force was unjustified.

The Whitefish Pilot reported Henning was arrested in Whitefish on Christmas Day 2007 after reportedly threatening his parents with a sledgehammer.

His parents posted his bail but called police two days later after he reportedly threatened them, kicked in a door, grabbed a .357 Magnum handgun and took off in his parents’ pickup truck. He acknowledged being under the influence of cocaine and ecstasy, court records said.

Henning was sentenced to six years’ probation for criminal endangerment in that case.

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