A sex offender killed in shootout with police was charged on January 19 with two felony counts of distributing child pornography. A $40,000 warrant was discovered by police when the suspect entered the Temple City Sheriff Station to register as a sex offender. Upon being approached by deputies, the suspect ran to his SUV where he kept a firearm and barricaded himself inside.
Once inside the vehicle, the suspect, now armed with a shotgun, began firing at deputies and the building. Deputies returned fire, until shots ceased to come from the vehicle. Sheriff’s Department special weapons team members searched the vehicle and discovered that the suspect was dead. No deputies were injured during the shootout.
California Penal Codes 311.1 and 311.2 PC cover the distribution of child pornography. These Penal Codes make it illegal to:
- Send or cause child pornography to be sent into the state
- Bring it or cause it to be brought into the state
- Possess child pornography
- Prepare, publish or produce it
- Develop, duplicate or print it
Penal Codes 311.1 PC and 311.2 PC are both “wobblers,” meaning that they can be charged as either misdemeanors or felonies. Considering the suspect was being charged with two felony-level offenses, the possible penalties included up to 6 years in California state prison (per charge) and/or fines of up to $10,000 (per charge). Those who are convicted also face mandatory lifetime registration as a sex offender.
It’s unknown what caused the suspect to take such drastic actions after learning there was an additional warrant out for his arrest. It’s pretty well-known that sex offenders – particularly those whose offenses involve children – become targets when incarcerated. That being the case, the suspect’s actions may have stemmed from a desire to avoid another lengthy stay in prison at all costs. Whatever his intentions, it’s lucky for deputies and bystanders that nobody else was injured as a result of the shoot out.