MARTINEZ — A Concord police sergeant took the stand at a coroner’s inquest hearing Wednesday and described the exact moment he decided to pull the trigger on a city resident who was standing over his 85-year-old mother, preparing to stab her again.
“We made it there right in the middle of him killing her,” Sgt. Josh Graham testified Wednesday. “I made the decision that if I didn’t do something he was going to murder her right in front of us.”
Graham, as well as Officer Oscar Rodriguez, shot and killed 60-year-old Donald Eversen last December, inside the Eversen residence on Oasis Drive in Concord. Eversen stabbed and beat his then 85-year-old mom and 90-year old dad, both of whom survived.
During Graham’s testimony, he described planning a response to 911 calls from the Oasis Drive, which included use of “less lethal” weapons and having a hostage negotiator call the home line, hoping to speak to Eversen. Graham described that call as “brief” and “not very productive.”
“Donald was making some outlandish demands,” he testified.
When they got closer to the home, Eversen’s father was standing outside, blood pouring down his head. Upon seeing police, Eversen closed and locked the front door. Two officers kicked the door down, and Graham was the first to enter.
“I heard Donald yell out that he was going to kill (his mom),” Graham testified. He ran into the kitchen, and saw Eversen kneeling over his mother holding, “a large kitchen knife with a very long blade.”
“It appeared to me not only was he going to stab her but he had already stabbed her,” he added.
Eversen’s death, like all police shootings or other law enforcement-involved deaths, was reviewed by a coroner’s inquest per Contra Costa county protocol. During inquest hearings, juries listen to testimony and make a determination to cause of death from four categories: suicide, accident, natural causes, and at the hands of another, not by accident.
The jury’s verdict carries no criminal nor civil liability but stands as the official cause of death. During inquest hearings, witnesses are allowed to listen to each other’s testimony and audience members can submit questions.
Check back for updates
Concord police released video of the shooting last year. It can be viewed below. It is graphic.
Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment