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Lawsuit filed in death of man killed during deputy-involved shooting in Canyon Country

Posted: May 20, 2014 6:36 p.m.
Updated: May 20, 2014 6:36 p.m.

The family of a man killed during a deputy-involved shooting in Canyon Country in January has filed a lawsuit against Los Angeles County, a member of the man’s family said Tuesday.

Steven Burke Pettersen, 47, of Canyon Country, was shot multiple times in the upper torso by deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station after reportedly moving toward them with a knife in his hand, according to an incident report released by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Speaking from his home in Burbank Tuesday, Pettersen’s stepfather Bruce Albertson confirmed a lawsuit alleging civil rights violations, battery, negligence and violations of laws protecting persons with disabilities was filed Friday by Steven Burke Pettersen’s son, Christopher Pettersen.

“We are waiting on information about the shooting ourselves,” Albertson told The Signal Tuesday.

“They (county officials) don’t seem to want to give us any information,”  he said.

The incident began at approximately 8:25 p.m. on Jan. 30 when patrol deputies were flagged down and received reports of a man in the area of Soledad Canyon Road and Shangri-La Drive who was “running in and out of traffic, holding a spear and waving it at passersby on the road,” according to the incident report.

Sheriff’s deputies later located Pettersen — at that point unidentified — standing near the intersection “holding a metal spear and behaving strangely,” according to the report.

At some point during this exchange the first deputy-involved shooting occurred. According to the Sheriff’s Department report, the man appeared unscathed and continued acting erratically.

The deputies then moved back toward their vehicle, at which point the man, a knife now in hand, advanced on them, according to the report.

The suspect was then fired upon and struck multiple times in the upper torso, according to the report.

The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene and both the weapons were recovered.

No deputies were injured in the incident.

Petterson, a graduate of Hoover High School, served with the U.S. Army as a Sergeant with the 3rd Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment at Ft. Benning in Georgia.

According to one of his friends who contacted The Signal, Pettersen regularly sought the medical help of the VA West Los Angeles Medical Center.
On Twitter @jamesarthurholt


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