CARMICHAEL (CBS13) — Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office has released home surveillance video from a Ring doorbell camera showing Earnest Easterling involved a violent altercation with his girlfriend Chanell Brown on October 27th at a Carmichael apartment complex.
Both fearful and malicious screaming can be heard in the video as the victim tells others to stay safe. The camera catches Sheriff’s deputies arrive at the apartment. Then the unthinkable happens.
Deputies instruct Brown to come forward and move out of the way. A brief second later, Easterling is seen running at Brown, shooting and killing her in front of the deputies. The deputies instantly shot Easterling after he pulled the trigger.
“You see how quickly he moves from the doorway on and is it is really within inches of the female in a matter of blink and you see it right,” Sergeant Tess Deterding said.
The Sheriff’s Office said that the deputies reacted as fast as the could in a situation that unfolded in mere seconds.
“I think that it’s human nature to wonder and playback in your mind if I could’ve seen things faster or differently but the reality is it happened exactly how it happened right in front of them in a matter of a half a second or less,” Deterding said.
Deterding said the professional standards investigation into the shooting is still ongoing.
CBS13 spoke with former Sacramento County Sheriff John McGinness to get some insight into how the deputies responded.
“They arrive and there’s more to it. There’s mention of a gun involved from the calls of reporting a traffic collision,” McGinness said. “But it is actually very, very shortly thereafter will be an active shooter situation.”
He told CBS13 that the deputies did all they could in a rapidly moving situation.
“It just shows in a split second reality, it shows in most graphic terms of the reality of what a violent encounter can be,” McGinness said. “It looks as though the deputies discharged their firearms very quickly as he begins that process of assault. It looks as though he struck by gunfire perhaps even at the time he took her life.”
The former sheriff also questioned if the hot button issue of when to use deadly force played a factor in this shooting.
“Recent legislation called for minimization that the likelihood of deadly force is used. This case serves to illustrate part of the folly associated with that kind of a law,” McGinness said.
Both McGinness and the sheriff’s office said this shooting is something that is sure to weigh heavy on the deputies that were involved.
“They saw in real life an innocent live taken and they were put in a position where they had to take out another life in order to minimize the destruction,” McGinness said.
“We can have some empathy or some understanding as a human being what that would be like to be alone in a situation where you watch someone get executed in front of you,” Deterding said.