January 12, 2022 Update
The Humboldt County Multi-Agency Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) is continuing to investigate the officer involved shooting that occurred on December 30, 2021. This is an ongoing, active investigation, and information is being released in a manner that allows us to maintain the integrity of the investigation as it is prepared and presented to the District Attorney’s office for prosecution. Additional information will be released as it becomes available and authorized by law.
The following updated information is being released at this time:
The investigation has revealed that there was only one officer who fired their service weapon during the incident. The involved officer is identified as Eureka Police Detective Joseph Couch. Detective Couch has been with EPD for 5 years and is assigned to EPD’s Problem Oriented Policing Team (POP) and is a member of the Humboldt County SWAT team. Detective Couch was assigned to the operation to apprehend Moon. During the incident Detective Couch fired six (6) rounds from his patrol rifle at Moon, who was in the driver’s seat of his vehicle. All six (6) rounds struck Moon’s vehicle. At this point in the investigation it appears two (2) of those rounds struck Moon in his hand and arm. There were two other occupants in Moon’s vehicle at the time of the incident and they were not injured.
A less lethal bean bag shotgun was also deployed and discharged during the incident by a member of another agency.
Moon was initially transported to St. Joseph Hospital for treatment then transferred to an out of county medical facility. On Thursday, January 6th, Moon was booked by EPD officers into an out of county correctional facility on his warrant for Attempted Murder of a Peace Officer and Parole Violation. On Tuesday, January 12th, Moon was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility. It is expected additional charges will be added once the investigation is completed.
As is standard protocol, Detective Couch was placed on temporary paid administrative leave on December 31, 2021. Following a review of the investigation as it stands at this point, interviews, and a critical incident debrief, Detective Couch was cleared to return to full duty effective January 7, 2022.
Pursuant to California Government Code §6254(f)(4), modified by Assembly Bill (AB 748), video and/or audio recordings depicting the discharge of a firearm at a person by a peace officer or custodial officer shall be made public within 45 days of the event by the agency provided the release would not significantly interfere with a criminal or administrative investigation. Detective Couch was wearing his body worn camera, which captured the shooting, and this video will be released in accordance with the above law.
January 3, 2022 Update
On December 30, 2021, a multi-agency law enforcement team was working to apprehend a wanted felon, 29-year-old Little Eagle Moon of Hoopa. Moon was wanted for attempted robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, vehicle theft, revocation of parole, burglary, and reckless evasion.
During the apprehension near 3rd and T Streets in Eureka, Moon was in the driver seat of a vehicle and began ramming law enforcement vehicles and driving towards officers. Due to the threat, one Eureka Police Officer fired his duty weapon, striking Moon. Moon then fled in his vehicle, causing a traffic collision at 5th and V Streets. Minor injuries were reported by civilians during this collision. One officer received minor injuries during the initial apprehension.
Moon fled the collision scene and hid in a nearby greenbelt until he was ultimately taken into custody without further incident. Moon was transported to the hospital for serious but non-life-threatening injuries. Once medically cleared, Moon will be booked for attempted murder.
The involved officer has been placed on paid administrative leave while the investigation is underway. There was body camera footage of the incident and it will be made available within State Bill 748 guidelines.
Anyone with information is asked to contact lead investigators EPD Senior Detective Amber Cosetti at (707) 441-4315 or DA Investigator Martin Morris at (707) 268-2578.
On December 30, 2021, around 2:45 p.m., a multi-agency law enforcement team was working to apprehend a wanted felon near 3rd and T Streets in Eureka. During the apprehension, the suspect was in the driver seat of a vehicle and began ramming law enforcement vehicles and driving towards officers. An officer involved shooting (OIS) occurred at this time.
Immediately following the shooting, the suspect fled in the vehicle, causing a traffic collision at 5th and V Streets. The suspect then fled on foot into a greenbelt near 6th and T Streets. Officers quickly set up a perimeter around the greenbelt and set a lockdown in the immediate area.
At about 3:20 p.m., the suspect was located hiding in the greenbelt and taken into custody without further incident. The suspect was transported to the hospital for medical evaluation and treatment.
The Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) has been activated. This is an active investigation. More information will be released as available. Anyone with information is asked to contact lead investigators EPD Senior Detective Amber Cosetti at (707) 441-4315 or DA Investigator Martin Morris at (707) 268-2578.