On 06/28/2020 at about 2:30 pm, officers of the Eureka Police Department responded to the 1500 block of 3rd Street for a reported vandalism to a vehicle call for service.
As dispatch was speaking to the Reporting Party (RP), a disturbance could be heard in the background of the RP’s call. By the sounds of the call it seemed that the RP was in an argument with an additional subject(s). Someone could be heard shouting: “there’s a gun.” Additional Officers were then dispatched to the call.
Upon arrival, officers located the RP and a male subject later identified as, Sean Thomas Avery (52 years old), in a physical fight inside the suspect’s apartment. Officers forced entry into the apartment and both males were detained.
During an interview of the RP it was learned that while on the phone with dispatch, the RP attempted to exit his apartment and was confronted by Avery. Avery had a handgun in his hand and started a fight with the RP. Avery grabbed the RP and pushed him back into the RP’s apartment. A fight ensued inside the apartment and at one-point Avery removed the RP’s cellphone, which was still connected to EPD dispatch, prohibiting the RP from requesting help from police. The RP and Avery continued to struggle.
During the altercation, the gun which Avery still had in his possession went off, firing a round into the floor next to the RP’s head. The RP broke free from Avery and attempted to flee out the front door of his residence. Avery grabbed the RP and dragged him into Avery’s apartment.
Avery continued his assault on the RP, while still in possession of the handgun. The RP was able to wrestle the handgun away from Avery. Avery grabbed a hold of the RP’s neck and put him in a “choke hold.” Both subjects continued struggling on the ground until police arrived.
Detectives were summoned to the scene and a search warrant for Avery’s apartment was authored. As a result of the search warrant service a ballistic vest, an additional disassembled revolver, ammunition, and the gun case and manual to the handgun used during the assault were located. It was later determined that the vandalism damage to the RP’s vehicle was consistent with a bullet impact.
Avery was later booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on the following charges:
Assault with a deadly weapon, felon in possession of a firearm, kidnapping, felon in possession of body armor, negligent discharge of a firearm, obstruct use of device to summon emergency assistance, and assault and battery. Avery is being held on $75,000 bail.
This case is still under investigation and further updates will be released when appropriate. Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact Officer Sollom at 707-441-4060.