The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office has completed its review of the officer-involved shooting which occurred on March 10, 2019. This incident happened in San Bernardino and involved the San Bernardino Police Department. The shooting was investigated by the San Bernardino Police Department.

On March 10, 2019, at approximately 11:01 pm, San Bernardino Police Department’s Dispatch Center received a 911 call regarding a man walking around an apartment complex in the 200 block of E. 4th Street in San Bernardino. The caller reported the man lived at the location, and he was possibly under the influence of drugs or alcohol because he was talking to himself and carrying a small ax.

Police officers were dispatched to the apartment complex. In this area of 4th street, there are individual homes on one side of the street and multiple apartment complexes on the opposite side.

Officer Kerie Brown and Officer Joaquin Larios were the first two officers to arrive. They both drove around the block to locate the man with the ax. They found Sokhom Hon in the area of 4th Street and Allen Street.

Mr. Hon had a small hatchet and repeatedly yelled at the officers to kill him. Officer Larios exited his police car first and immediately told Mr. Hon to put down the weapon. Officer Brown exited her police car shortly after and quickly communicated to Officer Larios that she had “less” (meaning “less-lethal” or the TASER).

Officer Larios drew his firearm and pointed it at Mr. Hon. Officer Brown drew her TASER, which she also pointed at Mr. Hon. The officers told Mr. Hon repeatedly to put down his weapon and to get down on the ground.

Both officers tried for several minutes to calm Mr. Hon and get him to put down his weapon. Mr. Hon yelled almost continuously about the “Illuminati” and the “Cambodians.” He also exclaimed that he was God and wanted to die.

After approximately 3 minutes, Officer Brown advised dispatch that she and Officer Larios were trying to calm Mr. Hon, but he was uncooperative.

Mr. Hon repeatedly told the officers to hold their guns and that he wanted to die. He told officers to put down the TASER and hold their firearms.

Approximately 30 seconds later, Officer Brown asked dispatch for another police car to respond to the incident and block any possible traffic that would possibly come behind Mr. Hon.

Officer Brown and Officer Larios continued to talk to Mr. Hon, trying to calm him down. They asked him questions, such as his name and why he was so upset. The officers continued to ask for Mr. Hon to put his weapon down as well.

Mr. Hon yelled at the officers and told them to stay away, or he would rush them. He asked over and over for the officers to kill him and repeatedly stated that he “is going to die tonight.” Officer Brown told Mr. Hon that it was not their intention to kill him, and Officer Larios added that he did not want to shoot him.

Sergeant Johnson arrived at the scene with a less-lethal shotgun. A less-lethal shotgun is loaded with small bean bag-like projectiles intended to incapacitate or distract a subject when fired.

Mr. Hon excitedly stated, “there you go! I want to die!” Mr. Hon said, “I need you to kill me; I’m tired of living hell.” Mr. Hon’s father, Witness #1, came out of the apartment complex at that time and was in the backdrop (this is a term used to describe when a person or object is in an area where they could be struck by gunfire, also known as being “in the line of fire”).

Both Mr. Hon and officers started yelling at Witness #1 to move away from the incident. The officers continued to order Mr. Hon to put the weapon down. Officer Brown asked dispatch for the K9 to respond to the scene about 5 minutes into the call. A “K9” is a police officer with a dog.

Officer Carranza arrived on the scene. He made his way to the left of Sergeant Johnson and told Sergeant Johnson he was next to him. Officers were yelling at Mr. Hon’s family members to get away from the incident. Mr. Hon started yelling again, “shoot me, shoot me, I have a knife!” Sergeant Johnson shot four less-lethal shotgun rounds in an attempt to gain compliance from Mr. Hon.

Mr. Hon was struck four times, with two of the projectiles striking him in the abdomen, one on the right side of his chest and one on his right side under his armpit. After each projectile struck Mr. Hon, he flinched and took a step back. In between each projectile striking him, Mr. Hon would side-step across the street. He was getting further away from the officers with each shot fired. Mr. Hon continued to yell, “shoot me, shoot me, kill me!” as he was shot with the less-lethal projectiles.

Mr. Hon ran south on Allen Street and then rounded the corner to Court Street. In this area of Court Street, there are multiple apartment complexes on one side of the street and the back of a fire station on the other side. The total distance between where the officers initially contacted Mr. Hon to where the incident ended is less than 0.2 miles.

Mr. Hon refused to drop the weapon and continued yelling at the police officers to kill him. Mr. Hon ran on the sidewalk of Court Street alongside the passenger side of parked cars. He yelled at officers that if they got close to him, he would stab them.

Officers Larios, Brown, and Carranza were the closest officers to Mr. Hon. Officers Brown and Larios were running on the sidewalk behind Mr. Hon. Officer Carranza was on the street side, running in the street alongside the drivers’ side of the parked cars. Officer Carranza was running almost parallel to but slightly behind Mr. Hon.

There was a white van parked on Court Street. Mr. Hon ran past the van on the passenger side, and Officer Carranza started to pass the van on the driver’s side.

Based on a review of the officers’ Axon body-worn camera videos and their statements, the following happened almost simultaneously:

As Mr. Hon was running, he suddenly changed course. He ran from the sidewalk and between the white van and another parked car, turning directly towards Officer Carranza, who was in the street.

Officer Brown yelled “TASER, TASER, TASER,” and fired TASER darts at Mr. Hon. The darts missed Mr. Hon and ended up striking the closest vehicle.

Officer Carranza fired four rounds from his duty weapon, striking Mr. Hon four times.

Mr. Hon fell to the ground with his weapon (the ax) within reach. An officer kicked the weapon away from Mr. Hon. Mr. Hon was handcuffed by officers, who also began treating him for his injuries. Officer Brown located Mr. Hon’s wounds and began applying pressure to control the bleeding.

The officers requested medical aid for Mr. Hon, which arrived and began treating Mr. Hon. He was transported to Loma Linda Hospital, where he was pronounced deceased at 12:25 am on March 11, 2019.

Deputy Coroner Adrianna Butler arrived at the hospital and investigated Mr. Hon’s body. Detective Granado was with Deputy Coroner Butler, located a broken glass pipe with an off-white colored substance in it, which he recognized as methamphetamine.


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 lethal force was a proper exercise of his rights of self-defense and defense of others, and 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

  • Mr. Hon was walking around his apartment complex, behaving in such a manner to cause someone to call the police.
  • Mr. Hon was talking to himself and carrying a small ax, known as a hatchet.
  • Mr. Hon refused to comply with the police officers’ lawful orders to drop his weapon and lay on the ground.
  • The police officers made several attempts to de-escalate the situation by talking with Mr. Hon and telling him they had no intention of hurting him.
  • Officers attempted to use less lethal force to detain Mr. Hon.
  • Mr. Hon ran from the officers, on a residential sidewalk, with his weapon.
  • Mr. Hon’s dangerous actions were stopped only after being shot by a police officer.

Police officers are trained to respond to these types of situations. They continually update their training as new situations and techniques are encountered or 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 deadly force is necessary for the community’s safety and the 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 department in this situation, will not back down, be intimidated, or run scared when danger presents itself.

When law enforcement receives a call of someone acting suspicious or behaving in a way that draws someone’s attention, they have an obligation to respond to the scene to determine if any crime has occurred, is occurring, or is about to occur. Additionally, the officers evaluate the situation to determine if anyone’s safety is in jeopardy.

In this particular incident, based on Mr. Hon’s actions and statements, he was possibly under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or he was suffering a mental health issue, or a combination of both.

Mr. Hon made the decision to arm himself with a hatchet, which, if held, displayed, drawn, or used violently or aggressively, is considered a weapon.

Mr. Hon decided to yell at the police officers, encouraging them to end his life for him. Mr. Hon chose not to comply with any of the officer’s commands as they tried to calm him down and resolve the situation peacefully.

Even after being struck by less-lethal projectiles, Mr. Hon decided to continue his non-compliance. Mr. Hon chose to run from the police officers on a residential sidewalk.

While the officers chased after Mr. Hon, he chose to run into the street and towards a police officer while holding his weapon (the ax).

Having an obligation to ensure anyone who may come into contact with Mr. Hon were not attacked by him, and the need to ensure Mr. Hon did not attack any police officers, a police officer shot Mr. Hon to end his dangerous conduct.

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

  • Mr. Hon had not armed himself with a deadly weapon (ax).
  • Mr. Hon had followed the lawful orders of the police officers.
  • Mr. Hon had not ran towards a police officer while still possessing the ax.


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 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. Hon acted lawfully.


View San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office Public Release Memorandum: Sokhom Hon


LA Times – Police Shoot and Kill Man in San Bernardino In Incident Captured on Video