SCSO: Man killed in officer-involved shooting was show dog thief

Photo courtesy of the Shasta County Sheriff's Office

The Redding man killed in an officer-involved shooting Thursday morning was the man behind the theft of 14 show dogs and a van in June, according to the Shasta County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies say the chase started at 5:30 a.m. when a Redding Police officer noticed a stolen car in the area of South Bonnyview and Market Street. When the officer tried to pull over the driver, later identified as Benjamin Larson, 42, he sped off leading them onto I-5 south towards Cottonwood.

Deputies say Larson got off the freeway at Gas Point Road in Cottonwood before getting back on I-5 north towards Anderson. California Highway Patrol officers and Anderson Police Department officers joined the chase and laid out a spike strip near Riverside Avenue in northern Anderson.

The tires on the stolen car began to deflate and the car began to slow as it approached the Knighton Road off-ramp. Two Redding Police officers were driving behind the car as it began to stop.

Officers say Larson got out of the car with a handgun and fired at them. They returned fire and Larson was later found inside the car and pronounced dead.

Larson had an active warrant for violating his parole in connection with the theft of a van in June containing 14 show dogs.

A woman passenger in the car got out of the car when Larson stopped briefly before he headed south on I-5. She was later located by deputies and identified as Larson's girlfriend. She was not injured or arrested.

The Shasta County Sheriff's Office is investigating the shooting and the officers involved have been placed on administrative leave. An autopsy for Larson has been scheduled.

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