On July 23, 2020, at about 5:18 p.m., officers with the Eureka Police Department responded to a residence on the 2800 block of Lowell Street in Eureka for the report of a male making suicidal threats over text message and possibly in possession of a firearm.
Officers arrived on scene and attempted to contact the male. Due to the severity of the threats, a perimeter was set up and an emergency alert notification was sent out to nearby residents warning to shelter in place. A County Mental Health Crisis Negotiator responded to the scene to assist with negotiations. Upon receiving the initial call for service, Fire and Medical were also dispatched and staged nearby.
Officers and the Crisis Negotiator attempted communication for nearly two hours while the male continued to make threats. At about 7:49 p.m., officers heard what appeared to be gunshots coming from the backyard. Negotiations continued while the male was observed in the backyard with a firearm.
At about 8:23 p.m., the male exited his yard into the alley where officers were. The male was armed with a firearm and refused to comply with officer’s orders to drop the weapon. The male leveled the firearm at officers and an officer involved shooting took place. The male was immediately transported to the hospital where he ultimately succumbed to his injuries. No officers were injured during the incident.
The multi-agency Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) was called out and is actively investigating this incident as an officer involved shooting. CIRT is comprised of designated representatives from various Humboldt County law enforcement agencies who have specific training in homicide and officer involved shooting investigation. This is an active investigation and further information will be released as available.
Following next of kin notification, the Eureka Police Department (EPD) has identified
the deceased individual from yesterday’s officer-involved shooting incident as John Karl
Sieger (age 51) of Eureka. The names of the involved officers will be released to the
public within the next 10 days (on or before August 3rd, 2020).
The multi-agency Critical Incident Response Team has completed its investigation at the
scene of the shooting on the 2800 block of Lowell Street, Eureka. The residence has
been released back to the family. This is an ongoing, active investigation and additional
information will be released responsibly as it becomes available. If anyone has further
information related to this incident, they are asked to contact Detective Corrie Watson
Statement from Chief of Police Steve Watson:
“This tragic outcome was not what we expected or wanted to happen. My heart goes out to all
who have been impacted by Mr. Sieger’s death, including his family and loved ones and the
involved officers, dispatchers and their families who are deeply saddened and hurting too.
At EPD’s request, the Humboldt County Multi-Agency Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT)
was mobilized to investigate this incident. CIRT is comprised of representatives from various
Humboldt County law enforcement agencies who receive specialized training in the handling of
critical incident investigations such as officer-involved shootings. The Humboldt County District
Attorney’s Office is participating as a co-lead investigating agency in the CIRT investigation with
the primary and assisting law enforcement agencies. The completed CIRT investigation will be
submitted to the District Attorney for review and to ultimately determine if any criminal liability