The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office has completed its review of the officer-involved shooting which occurred on December 13, 2018. This incident occurred in the city of Upland and involved the Upland Police Department. The shooting was investigated by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.


On December 13, 2018, at about 3:11 am, the Upland Police Department received a call from a person named “Frank,” who reported seeing “some guy acting kind of weird” in the area of 1000 block of 11th Street in the city of Upland. The caller said the person might be a transient, and he was cutting leaves and picking items up while acting weird. The caller described the person as a white male adult, wearing a blue jacket and gray pants.

At 3:27 am, Officer Richard Vanderbilt was assigned to the call. Officer Vanderbilt was driving a marked police patrol car and arrived in the area of the call. He saw Artur Kaneev walking east on the south sidewalk of 11th Street, towards Benson Avenue. Mr. Kaneev was wearing a blue jacket and gray pants, which matched the clothing described in the call.

Officer Vanderbilt crossed through the intersection, made a U-turn, and waited for Mr. Kaneev to cross the intersection. Once he did, Officer Vanderbilt turned on his solid red forward-facing overhead emergency light. At 3:33 am, Officer Vanderbilt used his radio to notify the police dispatcher and other officers he was contacting a person (Mr. Kaneev).

Officer Vanderbilt stopped his patrol car closer to Mr. Kaneev, exited, and walked to the front of his patrol car, near the front tire. He spoke to Mr. Kaneev. Mr. Kaneev had both of his hands in his pockets.

Officer Vanderbilt asked Mr. Kaneev to take his hands out of his pockets. This is a common practice of law enforcement officers to be assured a person is not holding or have quick and easy access to a potential weapon.

Mr. Kaneev removed his left hand from his pocket but kept his right hand inserted in his pant’s pocket. Officer Vanderbilt gave Mr. Kaneev a total of three commands to remove his hand from his pocket; however, Mr. Kaneev kept his hand inside the pocket. 

Officer Vanderbilt removed his TASER (“Tom A. Smith Electronic Rifle”) from his holster and gave Mr. Kaneev the fourth command to remove his hand from his pocket, or he would use the TASER on Mr. Kaneev.

Mr. Kaneev removed his right hand from the pocket and immediately reached behind his back. Mr. Kaneev moved his right hand in front of his body, and Officer Vanderbilt saw Mr. Kaneev was holding a black handgun.

Mr. Kaneev raised the handgun and reached over the top of the slide with his left hand as if he was pulling the slide backward. When doing this type of action with a loaded semi-automatic handgun, it causes ammunition to be loaded into the chamber, ready to be fired once the trigger is pulled.

Officer Vanderbilt dropped his TASER, removed his firearm from its holster, and ordered Mr. Kaneev to drop his gun. Officer Vanderbilt fired 14 rounds at Mr. Kaneev.

Officer Vanderbilt crouched down and used his radio to inform the dispatcher and other officers he was in a shooting. Officer Vanderbilt moved to the rear of his patrol car. Officer Vanderbilt ordered Mr. Kaneev to drop his weapon, which he did not do.

Mr. Kaneev walked to the front of the patrol car, and while standing about three to four feet from the front bumper, faced Officer Vanderbilt, who was by the rear bumper of the patrol car. 

Officer Vanderbilt inserted a new magazine to reload his weapon. Officer Vanderbilt fired seven rounds at Mr. Kaneev. Mr. Kaneev fell onto his right side and dropped his gun beneath his right leg.

At 3:35 am, Officer Vanderbilt used his radio again and broadcasted more shots had been fired, and the suspect was on the ground. 

Mr. Kaneev rolled on the ground and reached for the firearm under his right leg. Officer Vanderbilt yelled to Mr. Kaneev not to pick up the gun. Mr. Kaneev picked up the gun, raised his arm, and pointed the gun in Officer Vanderbilt’s direction. Officer Vanderbilt fired more rounds at Mr. Kaneev.

Officer Waste arrived and joined Officer Vanderbilt at the rear of the patrol car. Mr. Kaneev was still lying on the ground, with the gun in his hand, and pointed in the direction of where the officers were standing.

Officer Waste requested the fire department respond and standby in the parking lot of a nearby “Walmart Convenience Store.”

About one minute later, Officer Wyno arrived on the scene and joined the officers at the back of Officer Vanderbilt’s patrol car. Officer Wyno and Officer Waste moved to the area near the patrol car’s front driver’s door. 

Mr. Kaneev tried to sit up while still having his hand on his gun. Officer Wyno told Mr. Kaneev to put the gun down. For about 40 seconds, all three officers gave orders to Mr. Kaneev to drop the gun. Mr. Kaneev raised his right hand, and the gun fell to the ground.

Sergeant Kirk arrived and joined Officers Waste and Wyno near the driver’s door. Mr. Kaneev remained on his back but turned his head to look in the direction of the gun. 

After forming a strategy to approach Mr. Kaneev, Officer Vanderbilt holstered his firearm and began putting on gloves. Mr. Kaneev rolled his head again and reached out towards the gun with his left hand. Officers Wyno and Waste fired their firearms at Mr. Kaneev. Mr. Kaneev dropped the gun and stopped moving.

All four officers approached Mr. Kaneev. Sergeant Kirk kicked the firearm away from Mr. Kaneev. Officers Vanderbilt, Wyno, and Waste performed life-saving measures on Mr. Kaneev until relieved by the fire department and emergency medical personnel.

Mr. Kaneev was transported to San Antonio Medical Center by ambulance. At 4:06 am, he was pronounced deceased.

The firearm Mr. Kaneev had used was determined to be a BB/pellet gun.


The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s 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 Vanderbilt, Officer Waste, and Officer Wyno’s use of lethal force was a proper exercise of their rights of self-defense and defense of others, and therefore 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

  • A call was received reporting Mr. Kaneev was acting “weird.”
  • A police officer located and contacted Mr. Kaneev.
  • Mr. Kaneev refused to remove one of his hands from his pocket after being asked four times to do so.
  • Mr. Kaneev retrieved a concealed gun and held it in his hand.
  • Mr. Kaneev refused to drop his gun.
  • The police officer shot at Mr. Kaneev to protect himself.
  • Mr. Kaneev was eventually shot and fell to the ground.
  • Mr. Kaneev retrieved his gun and pointed it at the police officer.
  • The police officer ordered Mr. Kaneev to drop his gun, to no avail.
  • The police officer shot at Mr. Kaneev to stop Mr. Kaneev’s dangerous actions.
  • Additional police officers arrived at the scene.
  • Mr. Kaneev continued to try and get up and reach for his gun but subsequently stopped moving after a short while.
  • The police officers were eventually able to approach Mr. Kaneev and render the scene safe.

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 mere fact that the weapon Mr. Kaneev used in this case was a BB/Pellet gun does not relieve the police officers from their ability to protect themselves or community members. 

The officers are trained and expected to treat all firearms they encounter in the performance of their duties as real firearms capable of inflicting severe injury or death until they have determined otherwise. 

It was Mr. Kaneev’s responsibility not to draw, exhibit, use, or possess a BB/Pellet gun to intimidate or threaten police officers or other members of the community. By doing so, he irresponsibly placed himself, the community, and the police officers in a dangerous situation.

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 December 13, 2018, Mr. Kaneev made the decision to walk in public with a concealed BB/Pellet gun, which could very easily be viewed as a real firearm.

Mr. Kaneev drew attention to himself to the point it caused a member of the community to call the police and report Mr. Kaneev’s behavior. 

After being contacted by a police officer, Mr. Kaneev decided not to follow the officer’s lawful commands. Mr. Kaneev chose to keep one of his hands in his pockets, even though the police officer had requested he not do so on four occasions. 

Mr. Kaneev decided to draw a BB/Pellet gun from the area of his lower back and hold it in his hand. Mr. Kaneev chose to ignore the officer’s commands to drop the gun, both before and after being shot at by the police officer.

After eventually being struck by gunfire, Mr. Kaneev decided to point his gun at the police officer. He ignored commands to either drop or not touch the gun and chose to reach for the gun.

Mr. Kaneev’s dangerous actions were only stopped after being repeatedly shot by police officers, who were protecting themselves and the people in nearby residences or approaching motorists, cyclists, or pedestrians who could be using the roadway or sidewalk when this incident occurred.

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

  • Mr. Kaneev did not possess a BB/Pellet gun.
  • Mr. Kaneev had followed the lawful orders of the police officer.
  • Mr. Kaneev did not retrieve his gun from a concealed area behind his back.
  • Mr. Kaneev had dropped his gun.
  • Mr. Kaneev did not point the gun at the police officer.
  • Mr. Kaneev had stopped his actions.


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 and development and its 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. Kaneev acted lawfully.


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View San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office Public Release Memorandum: Artur Kaneev