Santa Ana, California — On Monday, August 19, 2019, early in the morning, David Patrick Sullivan arrived at the Shell gas station where he worked. At 5:20 a.m., Sullivan stole about $1,000 in cash and loaded more than one thousand dollars-worth of store merchandise (cigarettes, pastries, lighters, energy shots, water and a gas can) into the back seat of a customer’s 2011, black, Range Rover.
Sullivan then put gas in the Range Rover and left. The vehicle was reported stolen a few hours later. At approximately 11:35 a.m., BPPD Officers Colon and Tran were on patrol in a marked patrol car, traveling eastbound on Artesia Street, when Officer Colon noticed the registration tag on the Range Rover Sullivan was driving was expired. Officer Colon, who was riding in the passenger seat of the marked patrol car, directed Officer Tran to conduct a traffic stop. Officer Tran began following the Range Rover as Sullivan travelled eastbound on Artesia Street, then northbound on N. Gilbert Street.
Officer Tran activated the overhead lights and ran the license plate. The license plate inquiry showed the registration expired in June of 2018. Officer Colon activated his Body Worn Camera (“BWC”), exited the patrol car with an electronic ticket book in his right hand, and approached on the driver’s side of the Range Rover. Sullivan remained in the driver’s seat and lowered the driver’s side front window as Officer Colon approached. Through the open window, Officer Colon contacted Sullivan and asked for Sullivan’s driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance. Sullivan told Officer Colon that he did not have a driver’s license and that the car belonged to his cousin. Sullivan then handed Officer Colon his California Identification Card. Sullivan was calm and cooperative. At approximately 11:37 a.m., while standing outside of the Range Rover, Officer Colon notified BPPD dispatch of the car stop and reported the Range Rover’s license plate number.
After confirming that the registration was expired, Officer Colon told Sullivan to “Hang on” and then returned to the patrol car. Officer Colon informed Officer Tran that Sullivan told him the vehicle belonged to his cousin. BPPD dispatch then advised that the vehicle was stolen and that two (2) additional patrol units were dispatched to assist. Officers Colon and Tran approached on the driver’s side of the vehicle with their weapons holstered. Officer Colon opened the driver’s door and instructed Sullivan to exit the vehicle. Without warning, Sullivan suddenly grabbed the steering wheel with his left hand and started the engine with his right hand. Colon ordered Sullivan three (3) times to exit the vehicle. Sullivan, ignoring each of the exit commands, pulled his left arm free, put the Range Rover into reverse and, with the driver’s door wide open, reversed at a high rate of speed forcing Officer Colon to jump back in order to avoid being hit by the open car door. Sullivan quickly exited the Range Rover and angrily yelled back, “F*** you!”. Officer Colon backed up as Sullivan continued to charge at him, quickly closing the distance. Officer Colon fired one round at Sullivan, who was within about six (6) feet of Officer Colon at that time.
Sullivan veered slightly to his right, took two (2) to three (3) more strides, and continued to angrily yell profanities at Officer Colon. Officer Colon fired a second shot while Sullivan was still within five(5) to seven (7) feet of him. Sullivan, who did not physically react to any of the shots, changed his direction, and continued running. Seeing no physical reaction from Sullivan, Officer Colon fired a third shot. Sullivan changed direction and began running toward the back of the parking lot . Sullivan abruptly stopped, turned around and began charging at Officers Colon and Tran a second time. Officer Tran was now only a couple of feet away from Officer Colon. Officer Colon continued to fire and Officer Tran fired two (2) shots at this time.
Officer Tran requested paramedics respond to their location and both officers approached Sullivan and placed him in handcuffs. By the time paramedics arrived, Sullivan was deceased.