By Allen Payton
On Wednesday, March 28, 2018, a Contra Costa County Coroner’s Inquest jury reached a finding in the August 2, 2017 death of 44-year-old Jeffrey Darrell Barboa of Benicia. The jury found the manner of death to be a suicide.
The jury reached the 8-4 verdict after hearing the testimony of witnesses called by the hearing officer, Matthew Guichard.
A Coroner’s Inquest, to which Sheriff-Coroner David Livingston convenes in fatal incidents involving law enforcement in accordance with the Contra Costa County Chiefs’ of Police Association Officer Involved Fatal Incident Protocol, is a public hearing where a jury rules on the manner of a person’s death. Jury members select from the following four options when determining a finding: Accident, Suicide, Natural Causes or At the hands of another person, other than by accident.
However, according to a press release by the Vallejo Police Department, five officers fired their duty weapons and “the suspect was struck multiple times and was later pronounced deceased at the scene.”
The complete press release reads as follows: “On August 02, 2017 at 5:05 PM the officers of the Vallejo Police Department attempted a car stop on a vehicle which was wanted in connection with an armed robbery in El Cerrito on the 26th of July. The person associated with the vehicle was reported to be armed and dangerous.
The suspect driver of the vehicle refused to yield to the officers and led them on a high-speed pursuit which ultimately terminated in the city of Richmond approximately 15 minutes later.
The male suspect and only occupant of the vehicle exited and advanced on officers with a machete raised overhead. The driver refused numerous orders to drop the weapon and submit to arrest. Officers perceived the suspect as an immediate and deadly threat and fired their duty weapons in order to stop the suspect’s actions. A total of five officers discharged their weapons. The suspect was struck multiple times and was later pronounced deceased at the scene.
The suspect driver has been identified as a 45-year-old Benicia resident. His name is being withheld pending next of kin notification.
The event is being investigated in cooperation with the Richmond Police Department and the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office in accordance with the County Fatal Incident Protocol. Anyone who may have information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Vallejo Police Department.”