At approximately 10:00 P.M. on Wednesday, March 29, 2023, Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputies responded to an apartment on 34th Street in North Highlands regarding a welfare check. The caller stated they heard a big blast and found a bullet in their closet. As deputies arrived on scene, they located another shell casing and then began to hear gunshots.
Deputies quickly determined the shots were coming from a male in apartment #511, later identified as 45-year-old Daniel MURPHY.
Deputies requested the Special Enforcement Detail (SED) respond to assist as they attempted to call MURPHY out of his residence. SED Deputies utilized an armored Bearcat vehicle and the Rook as they attempted to facilitate evacuations and contact MURPHY in efforts to arrange his surrender. Over the course of several hours, MURPHY fired over 20 rounds toward Sheriff’s deputies, striking the armored vehicle and near a patrol vehicle.
These armored vehicles are designed to withstand heavy fire and provide protection for those inside. The ability of local law enforcement to quickly and effectively use these tools is paramount to public safety. The Sheriff’s Office’s use of the armored vehicles undoubtedly saved the lives of deputies at the scene and civilians forced to evacuate.
As the night went on, the Sheriff’s Office Critical Incident Negotiations Team (CINT) continued their dialogue with MURPHY, despite MURPHY refusing to cooperate and shooting toward deputies. Deputies learned a woman was inside with MURPHY and were able to evacuate her to safety. As MURPHY continued to demonstrate a grave threat to the public and law enforcement personnel on scene, SED began to take steps to take MURPHY into custody. A Sheriff’s K9 unit was deployed and successfully neutralized MURPHY. SED units quickly moved in and took MURPHY into custody. He was transported to a local hospital for treatment from the K9 bite, then booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail.
MURPHY is currently being held for attempted murder and other charges. He is ineligible for bail. MURPHY is scheduled to appear in court on April 4, 2023, at 3:00 P.M.
Without the swift action of our K9 deputies and their ability to deploy against armed and dangerous suspects, this incident could have likely ended with an unnecessary loss of life. Sheriff K9 units are highly trained as a tool to deescalate the use of force, particularly against violent felons who pose a threat to public safety. Without K9s as a force option, law enforcement will be forced to rely on other types of force, likely leading to a higher incidence of law enforcement shootings.
Proposed California State Assembly Bill 742, which recently just advanced out of the Public Safety Committee, aims to ban the use of law enforcement K9s for arrest. It is essential to consider the potential drawbacks and unintended consequences of any ban on these invaluable K9s. AB 742 is misguided and places the public and law enforcement at greater risk. Please consider speaking to your local state representative about this bill and ensure our community remains a safer place to live, work, and thrive.