The Elk Grove man who authorities say shot and wounded a California Highway Patrol officer before being killed by police Sunday night once told a friend he no longer wanted to live, according to the sheriff’s department sergeant investigating the case.
Richard Bernard Bisbee, 68, wrote in an undated letter obtained by investigators that he was taking medication for emotional problems and didn’t know where to turn, said Sacramento County Sheriff's Dept. Sgt. Jim Barnes, who is looking into the deadly shootout on Highway 99.
“It appears his life was unraveling,” Barnes told reporters at a press conference Monday afternoon.
A CHP officer stopped Bisbee on southbound 99 near Elk Grove Blvd after noticing his car’s tinted windows and obscured license plate, according to the CHP.
For reasons that are still unclear, the officer called for backup and was joined by other officers from the CHP and the Elk Grove Police Department.
After saying that he had no weapons, Bisbee suddenly opened fire, hitting a CHP officer in the left arm and abdomen, according to law enforcement accounts. That officer underwent surgery Sunday night and is expected to make a full recovery, a CHP spokesperson said.
Bisbee then attempted to drive away, was shot at by at least one CHP officer, and crashed his car. He was still sitting in the driver’s seat when an unidentified Elk Grove Police Department officer shot and killed him, Barnes said.
Barnes told reporters Monday that the officers on the scene saw a weapon in the car after it stopped and believed Bisbee was still reaching for it.
Both the injured CHP officer and the Elk Grove policeman who killed Bisbee are on administrative leave while the sheriff’s department investigates the incident. Elk Grove Police Chief Robert Lehner said the latter is a five-year veteran of the force and is not the same man who pulled the trigger in .
The coroner’s office will also conduct a full autopsy of Bisbee’s body, Barnes said.
Bisbee received a permit in 2009 to carry a concealed weapon in several counties, but that was not the weapon he used in Sunday night’s incident, according to the sheriff’s department.
Sheriff Scott Jones said his department reviewed Bisbee’s permit application in the wake of Sunday’s shooting.
“There were no red flags, no convictions that would preclude him from possessing a concealed weapons permit,” Jones said.