Sedona AZ (August 5, 2020) – The Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) concluded their investigation into the officer-involved shooting of Jonathan David Messare, determining the officers were justified in their actions and that with Messare closing in on officers with an edged weapon held over his head and ready to use, non-lethal use of force was not an option. The Coconino County Attorney’s Office has also reviewed this incident and determined charges against the officers are not warranted.
Messare died on scene when two Sedona Police Department officers fired their weapons at the 41-year-old on Jan. 20, 2020 as he wielded a machete, refused commands to drop his weapon and persisted in coming at the officers.
“Any loss of life is a tragedy. It is always the intent of every one of our police officers to avoid the use of deadly force whenever possible. Here, the officers tried several times to get Messare to drop his machete, and ultimately, fired their weapons based on the imminent threat Messare posed in that moment,” said Sedona Police Department Chief of Police Charles Husted.
At 1:26 p.m. on Jan. 20, 2020, a woman inside her house at the end of Newcastle Lane called 911 to indicate an unknown “scary” man, Messare, approached her with a machete after she asked him to leave her property. When officers arrived on scene they found Messare at the end of the road and ordered him to put his weapon down. Instead, Messare came towards the officers with the machete over his head, resulting in Officer William Hunt shooting Messare two times and Sgt. Casey Pelletier shooting Messare four times. All six shots fired struck Messare. He was pronounced dead at 1:40 p.m. by the Sedona Fire District, who were called to the scene immediately after shots were fired. Messare’s toxicology results revealed a mixed drug intoxication including methamphetamine, chlorpheniramine, dextromethorphan and cannabinoids.
In coordination with DPS, the 911 call and footage of the shooting from the dashboard cameras is being released. Sedona Police Department Officers do not wear body cams. [NOTE: large file sizes. Hunt Dash Cam; Pelletier Dash Cam}
“We do everything we can to train in best practices on how to deal with these most difficult situations. We use this case, just like all others, as teachable moments to emphasize and train appropriate response, use of force, de-escalation and other tactics intended to keep everyone, including perpetrators, as safe as possible,” said Husted.
To obtain a copy of the complete DPS report, contact their Public Records Unit at https://www.azdps.gov/services/public/records.
Sedona AZ (January 22, 2020) – UPDATE – On Monday, Jan. 20, 2020, an officer-involved shooting occurred in the 50-block of Newcastle Lane.
The Coconino County Coroner’s Office identified the deceased as 41-year-old Jonathan David Messare, who was originally from Oregon and relocated to Sedona in the summer of 2019.
The two officers in this incident were Sgt. Casey Pelletier, an eight-year veteran with the Sedona Police Department, and Officer William Hunt, a 14-year veteran with the Sedona Police Department. Per the Sedona Police Department’s standard protocol related to all officer-involved shootings, Pelletier and Hunt have been placed on paid leave. Neither officer was injured.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) is still investigating this incident and as the Sedona Police Department gathers more details, additional information will be released.
“This was a significant, unfortunate event for all involved – for Mr. Messare, his family and friends, the involved officers, our entire police department and our community. An officer hopes to go their entire career without having to discharge their weapon. Our hearts go out to everyone affected and we will continue to release details as we gather them,” says Sedona Police Department Chief of Police Charles Husted.
The Sedona Police Department encourages any witnesses with information regarding this incident to contact the Arizona DPS at (602) 223-2212.
Sedona AZ (January 21, 2020) – On Monday, Jan. 20, 2020, two Sedona Police Department officers were in an officer-involved shooting in which a 41-year-old, white male was killed. No officers were injured during the incident.
Below is a timeline of the events of the shooting:
- At 1:26 p.m., a resident on the 50-block of Newcastle Lane called 911 to report an unknown man shouting in the vicinity while in possession of a machete and a stick. The caller also indicated the man was possibly cutting himself with the machete.
- At 1:29 p.m., Sedona Police Department officers arrived on scene and contacted the subject.
- At 1:32 p.m., shots were fired at the subject and officers immediately called the Sedona Fire District (SFD) for emergency medical care for the subject.
- At 1:40 p.m., the SFD declared the subject deceased at the scene.
This incident is being investigated by the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS). Per the Sedona Police Department’s protocol, the two Sedona Police officers involved in the shooting will be placed on administrative leave.
The identity of the suspect will be released by the Coconino County Coroner’s Office once the next of kin have been notified.
“This was a significant, unfortunate event for all involved – for the subject, his family, the officers and the community. An officer hopes to go their entire career without having to discharge their weapon. Our hearts go out to everyone affected,” says Sedona Police Department Chief of Police Charles Husted.
The Sedona Police Department encourages any witnesses with information regarding this incident to contact the Department of Public Safety at (602) 223-2212.