Emeryville Officers & Slain Woman both officially identified, Activists demand surveillance video

Published On February 11, 2015 | By Rob Arias | Crime & Public Safety, News & Commentary

The deceased woman from last week’s officer-involved shooting tragedy was officially identified as Yuvette Henderson after notifying her next of kin (previously reported as “Yvette”). The Emeryville Police officers involved were also made public as Michelle Shepherd and Warren Williams, both seven-year veterans. Both officers have been placed on administrative leave pending the conclusion of the administrative and internal investigations that are being jointly administered by the EPD, OPD and Alameda County DA. The EPD has no formal timetable for the officers return to duty and it is at the discretion of Chief James to authorize their physical and emotional capableness of returning to active duty.

The feature photo was provided to IndyBay.org by an advocacy organization calling themselves APTP (Anti Police-Terror Project). Their post also confirmed that she was a 38-year-old mother of two including a 15 year old son and an 11 year old daughter. Yuvette also has an open Facebook Page with last activity dated May 2012. It appears to include photos of family and possibly her children. This activist group made the rounds yesterday with a list of demands including making all surveillance footage public within 48 hours and having a list of questions answered by the EPD.

According to the report, Henderson was caught stealing knives that she had hidden under her purse in a shopping cart at the Emeryville Home Depot. When confronted by two loss-prevention officers outside the store, she became combative, refused to be detained and brandished a gun that was hidden under a towel. The loss-prevention officers backed off and then called the EPD. Henderson fled on foot down Hollis, allegedly trying to carjack three motorists at gunpoint in an apparent attempt to flee the scene. Officers Shepherd and Williams located Henderson near the Extra Space Storage building when Henderson allegedly brandished the revolver again.

Henderson is then alleged to have pointed her weapon at the officers but did not fire any shots. Officer Shepherd fired a single shot that apparently did not strike Henderson. Williams then fired six shots from an AR-15 rifle (similar to the one shown below). The gunfire from Williams was reported to have struck Henderson in the head and arm. “They both gave her commands, multiple times, to put the gun down,” Betz said. “She, unfortunately, did not comply for whatever reason.” Emergency personnel were then called but Henderson died at the scene. Officer Williams was field-testing a recently issued body camera at the time but did not activate it until after the shooting. This footage was turned over to the Oakland PD who is leading the investigation as it happened in their jurisdiction. Relevant to the incident in light of recent high-profile officer-involved shooting cases is that Williams himself is African-American.

ar-15-assault-rifle-police-issued

AR-15’s were deployed to every patrol car in EPD’s fleet early last decade and available to all EPD officers who are trained and certified to use them. This was the first time they were used in any incident. The suspect’s weapon was recovered from the scene after the exchange and was reported to be a revolver last traced to a 1971 dealer sale. Henderson had previously been arrested and cited at the Emeryville Target for petty theft last October. Her criminal history is said to include identity theft, petty theft, fraud & drug possession but “no violence” according to EPD Police Chief Ken James at last Wednesday’s press conference. Toxicology reports from Henderson’s body could take as long as 90 days.

Much of these accounts have been verified by civilian witnesses but the APTP is asking for cooperation by Police and the businesses involved in administering their own independent investigation. As previously reported, this was only the third officer involved shooting in the last 40 years, the most recent being this July 4th, 2005 incident at the Oaks Card Club. Before this you have to go back to January 1982, when police shot and killed a suspect at a Doggie Diner restaurant.

Our previous coverage of this incident includes:

Press conference reveals details of yesterday’s officer involved shooting tragedy

Candlelight Vigil for Yvette Henderson erupts into Protest

Emeryville Police Officer involved shooting after chase leaves woman dead

About The Author

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who moved to Emeryville in 2003. A new parent in the community, he can often be seen walking his French Bulldog rescue "Fiona" around his Park Avenue District neighborhood, traversing the greenway on his bike or enjoying his favorite Emeryville small businesses. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

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