The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office has completed its review of the officer-involved shooting that occurred on April 11, 2019. This incident happened in the city of San Bernardino and involved the San Bernardino Police Department and San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. The San Bernardino Police Department investigated the shooting.


On April 11, 2019, at about 7:59 am, the San Bernardino Police Department received a 911 call for help from a victim in an apartment in the 4100 block of North Sepulveda Avenue in San Bernardino. The victim stated the suspect, Shurell Henry, had threatened to kill her while pointing a knife and screwdriver towards her. The victim also informed the police dispatcher that Mr. Henry was partially blind, under the influence of methamphetamine, and he was currently holding a cane and a machete.

Three police officers arrived at the front door to the apartment. The victim told Mr. Henry that the police had arrived and that he should open the door for the officers. The officers heard the victim tell Mr. Henry he should not open the door while holding the machete or knife. The officers could not see inside the apartment, and Mr. Henry never opened the door.

One of the supervisors at the scene asked the victim if they could force open the front door to enter the residence, to which she said yes.

After forcing open the door, the supervisor and one of the officers entered the apartment. They saw Mr. Henry standing in the living room. Mr. Henry appeared to be over 6′ tall, and he weighed between 250 to 300 pounds. Also in the room was the victim, who was also about 350 pounds, lying in a hospital bed pushed up against a wall.

Mr. Henry held a brown stick in his left hand and a folding cane in his right hand. A police officer ordered Mr. Henry to put his hands up in the air, which he did. There was a brief exchange of words, and it appeared Mr. Henry was listening to the officers.

Suddenly, Mr. Henry turned and began to move away from the officers. The supervisor reached out to Mr. Henry while ordering him not to move. Mr. Henry raised his arms as if he was going to run or strike at the supervisor. When this happened, one officer fired his TASER at Mr. Henry. Mr. Henry was able to duck behind a doorway to avoid being struck by the darts.

The officers moved to the doorway threshold and gave Mr. Henry numerous commands to come out from where he was hiding. Mr. Henry eventually appeared in front of the officer armed with a 27″ machete. The officers ordered Mr. Henry to drop the knife (machete); however, he kept walking in and out of the doorway. Mr. Henry told the officers they were not the police, to which they replied they were in fact, police officers.

An officer fired his TASER at Mr. Henry, but again, it was ineffective at disabling Mr. Henry. Less than 30 seconds of this second TASER shot being fired, Mr. Henry exited the doorway holding a large speaker box, which was about 27″ tall, while still maintaining the machete in his left hand. The officers again ordered Mr. Henry to put the items down, which he did not do. He returned to the doorway, but then reappeared in front of the officers while holding the speaker box, made of wood and metal, over his head. Mr. Henry threw the items at the officers. Almost simultaneously, an officer fired his duty weapon at Mr. Henry four times in rapid succession.

Mr. Henry retreated to the doorway and stated, “Call the police.” A standoff ensued for about ten minutes, with the officers continuing to give Mr. Henry orders to comply. While this was happening, the original victim who had called 911, began hyperventilating. Additional police officers arrived at the apartment.

A deputy from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department also arrived to assist the officers, armed with a less-lethal 12-gauge shotgun, which fires bean bag rounds. Mr. Henry moved from the doorway, exposing himself to the officers. Mr. Henry swung his cane wildly at the officers. The sheriff’s deputy fired a bean bag at Mr. Henry, striking him in the upper torso. Mr. Henry did not stop his actions or fall to the floor. Instead, he went to a window to escape the apartment; however, there were police officers outside the apartment should something like that occur. Mr. Henry returned to the living room and confronted the officers. The deputy fired four more bean bag rounds at Mr. Henry, which did not have any effect.

Several officers had formed a human wall in the living room, placing themselves between Mr. Henry and the victim. An officer fired another TASER round at Mr. Henry, causing him to go down to the ground and lay on his stomach.

Although lying on the ground, Mr. Henry did not curtail his resistance. It took several officers to hold Mr. Henry down and place him into handcuffs.

Mr. Henry was transported to Loma Linda University Medical Center, where he was treated for gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen.

On April 24, 2019, Mr. Henry pleaded guilty for violating California Penal Code Section 69, for his actions. That section specifies:

“Every person who attempts, by means of any threat or violence, to deter or prevent an executive officer from performing any duty imposed upon the officer by law, or who knowingly resists, by the use of force or violence, the officer, in the performance of his or her duty, is punishable by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170, or in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment.”


The San Bernardino Police Department investigated this shooting. A review of the investigation, reports, evidence, and statements was completed by the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office.

Based on the facts presented in the reports and the applicable law, our office concluded that the officers’ use of both lethal force and non-lethal force was a proper exercise of their rights of self-defense and defense of others their actions were legally justified.


By providing a thorough explanation to the community regarding the review of officer-involved shootings, it is the intention of District Attorney Jason Anderson and the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office to maintain the community’s confidence and trust in its law enforcement officers and district attorney’s office.

Key Points of This Incident

  • The victim called 911 for police help after being threatened by Mr. Henry, who was armed with a knife
  • The police responded to the scene
  • With the consent of the victim, the police had to force their way into the apartment to both protect the victim from Mr. Henry and determine if any crimes had been committed
  • While the officers were inside the apartment, Mr. Henry armed himself with various items, such as a machete, a speaker box, and a folding cane
  • Mr. Henry refused to follow any commands to comply with the officers so they could render aid to the victim, and safely complete their investigation
  • Mr. Henry used the items described above, as weapons when he swung his cane toward the officers, and he threw the machete and speaker box towards the officers
  • The officers used various forms of force to include their mere presence, verbal commands, less-lethal options, and finally, lethal options, to detain Mr. Henry

Police officers are trained to respond to these situations, and they continually update their training as new situations and techniques are identified.

Additionally, police officers have equipment on their belts, vests, and vehicles, which they use to complete their duties.

Police officers are expected and authorized to use the equipment to protect themselves and others from suffering injuries or death. To some, watching a police officer using physical force against another person can be upsetting or disturbing.

Police officers prefer to use the least amount of force, whether it be their mere presence or verbal commands, to diffuse situations. However, there are situations, such as this incident, in which physical force is necessary for the community and police officers’ safety.

In rapidly tense situations, officers do not have a great deal of time planning, revising, or analyzing a crisis, such as readers of this article. When a situation evolves, officers must make the best decisions possible to protect and save lives in a condensed amount of time.

The community expects that the people they call upon to protect them, which is the police in this situation, will not back down, be intimidated, or run scared when danger presents itself.

When a person calls 911 for police assistance, it is the police’s obligation to respond to a person’s call for help and take the appropriate action.

Unfortunately, not every call is the same to the officers responding to the call. The officers may encounter different obstacles on each call and must quickly assess and render an immediate solution to overcome those obstacles.

In this particular case, the officers needed to legally and forcefully enter the victim’s apartment, where they were confronted by a suspect (Mr. Henry) who was not cooperative. They also had to somehow interview, render aid, and protect the victim, which would usually be done by removing the victim from the danger, i.e., taken out of the apartment. However, the officers’ removal of the victim due to her medical status and size was not possible.

Additionally, the officers needed to contend with the suspect, who was large, appearing to be under the influence of drugs, uncooperative, and aggressive.

On April 11, 2019, Mr. Henry was responsible for the choices he made that day. Mr. Henry admitted to drinking alcohol and smoking methamphetamine before the police arrived at the apartment. Mr. Henry decided to threaten the victim, which led to the police being called.

As much as the police officers attempted to gain his cooperation, Mr. Henry decided not to comply with any orders from the officers. It was also Mr. Henry who decided to arm himself with a large knife, known as a machete, and a folding cane and a speaker box.

Mr. Henry made the decision to swing the cane towards the police officers, just as he made the decision to throw the speaker box and the machete at them as well.

Mr. Henry’s decisions prohibited the officers from doing their duties, and his decisions placed the victim’s life, the life of the police officers, and his own life in jeopardy.


The district attorney’s office has always reviewed Officer-involved shootings in San Bernardino County.

Upon taking office, District Attorney Jason Anderson wanted a dedicated team of trained and experienced deputy district attorneys and investigators to not only review these shootings but also to respond to the scene of shootings.

The review unit did not respond to this shooting scene as the new team’s design and development, and its protocols were still being developed.

Please visit to learn more about this team.

As the district attorney’s office, we realize the entire community is affected when force is used by the police, regardless of the situation or circumstances. Our responsibility is to ensure that all parties involved in cases such as the one involving Mr. Henry acted lawfully.


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View San Bernardino County District Attorneys Office’ Public Release Memorandum: Shurell Henry