Spear-Wielding Man Fatally Shot by Deputies in Canyon Country, Officials Say

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

A man waving a metal spear at passersby was shot and killed by responding sheriff’s deputies in the Santa Clarita community of Canyon Country Thursday night, authorities said.


Steven Burke Pettersen was fatally shot by sheriff’s deputies after he was seen holding a metal spear in the Canyon Country area on Jan. 30, 2014. (Credit: DMV)

The deadly shooting happened around 8:25 p.m. in the area of Shangri-La Drive and Soledad Canyon Road (map), according to a news release from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The man was identified as Steven Burke Pettersen, 47, by the county coroner’s office.

The incident started after patrol deputies from the Santa Clarita Station were flagged down by people who said that a man was running in and out of traffic and waving a spear at a passerby on the road, officials said.

Sheriff’s deputies responded and located the man on the center median, holding a metal spear and “behaving strangely,” according to the statement.

The deputies approached the man and told him to put down the weapon, but he ignored their orders and struck a passing vehicle with the spear, authorities said.

canyon country deputy involved shooting fire trucks

Deputies fatally shot an armed man in Canyon Country, authorities said, on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014. (Credit: KTLA)

“At some point during the contact a deputy-involved shooting occurred. The suspect, appearing unscathed by the shooting, continued his erratic behavior,” according to the news release. “When both deputies moved back toward their vehicle, the suspect, now holding a knife in his hand, advanced at the deputies, at which point a second deputy-involved shooting occurred.”

The man was struck by gunfire multiple times in the upper torso and was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said. His name was not immediately released, but police believed he was between 25 and 35 years old.

No deputies were injured during the incident.

KTLA’s Doug Kolk contributed to this report.