The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office has completed its review of the officer-involved shooting which occurred on August 2, 2019. This incident occurred in the city of San Bernardino and involved the San Bernardino Police Department. The shooting was investigated by the San Bernardino Police Department.


On August 2, 2019, at about 1:38 am, police officers from the San Bernardino Police Department reported hearing gunshots, and two vehicles speeding on Highland Avenue, near Sterling Avenue, in the city of San Bernardino, were involved.

Officer Brandon McCaulley was in uniform and driving a marked patrol car. He was transporting a juvenile he detained to the “7-11 Convenience Store” on West Highland and H Street. Officer McCaulley was transporting the juvenile to this location to release him into the custody of his father.

Officer McCaulley parked his patrol car in the store’s parking lot. As he exited his patrol car, he saw a gray Nissan Altima turn onto H Street from West Highland Street. Officer McCaulley saw an arm extended out of one of the Nissan’s windows and saw muzzle flashes (“muzzle flashes” are short bursts of light emitted from the barrel of a firearm when ammunition is being fired, seen at its brightest when viewed directly in line with the open end of the firing weapon’s barrel).

Officer McCaulley believed he was being shot at by an occupant of the Nissan. Officer McCaulley drew his firearm and shot at the person shooting at him.

The driver of the Nissan lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a house a short time later. Several occupants ran from the crash scene.

One of the occupants, Rickie Clark, was found at the scene and injured. He was transported to Loma Linda University Medical Center.


Criminal charges were filed against Mr. Clark and a co-defendant in San Bernardino Superior Court Case FSB19002684. The case against Mr. Clark was dismissed on December 17, 2019.


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 Officer Brandon McCaulley’s use of lethal force was a proper exercise of his rights of self-defense and defense of others, and therefore his 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

  • Different law enforcement officers in generally the same area heard gunshots and saw two vehicles speeding.
  • A police officer parked and began exiting his patrol car at a convenience store.
  • The police officer saw an arm extending out of a passing vehicle and muzzle flashes coming from the area of the arm/vehicle.
  • The police officer believed he was being shot at by someone in the vehicle.
  • The police officer drew his firearm and returned fire.
  • The vehicle crashed.

Police officers train for dangerous situations such as this one and 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 lethal force is necessary for the community and officer’s safety.

In rapidly tense situations, officers do not have a great deal of time planning, revising, or analyzing a situation, 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 law enforcement, will not back down, be intimidated, or run scared when danger presents itself.

On August 2, 2019, an occupant in a Nissan Altima made the decision to unlawfully possess a loaded firearm in the passenger area of a moving and occupied vehicle.

The occupant decided to point the firearm in the direction of a police officer and people at a convenience store the vehicle was passing. The occupant decided to pull the firearm’s trigger and shoot at the officer and the people in or near the store.

The occupant’s life-threatening actions were stopped after the police officer defended himself and others by shooting at the occupant (shooter) in the vehicle.

There is an extremely high probability this officer-involved-shooting would not have happened had the following occurred:

  • The occupants of the vehicle were not in unlawful possession of a loaded firearm.
  • An occupant in the vehicle did not shoot the weapon in the direction of a police officer and other people in and around a store parking lot.


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 review these shootings and respond to the scene of shootings.

The review unit did not respond to this shooting scene as the new team’s design, development, and protocols had not been 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. Clark acted lawfully.


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View San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office Public Release Memorandum: Rickie Clark