Investigators: Officer who shot homeless man was under bridge to urinate

REDDING, Calif. - A Redding police officer who shot 39-year-old Joseph Galbraith Wednesday was under the Cypress Street Bridge searching for a place to urinate.

According to a press release from the Shasta County Sheriff's office, the officer was working a DUI checkpoint near the intersection of East Cypress Avenue and Parkview Avenue.

"Prior to the checkpoint, the officer went under the bridge in an attempt to find a place outside of public view to urinate. The officer was immediately confronted by Galbraith," said Sheriff's officials in a statement released Monday.

The press release goes on to state, "Galbraith told investigators that he advanced toward the officer while holding a six inch long pair of metal tweezers and threatened that he had a knife. Galbraith stated he closed to within approximately 3-5 feet of the officer."

The officer shot Galbraith once in the upper torso, wounding him.

Police said Galbraith was in possession of a large folding knife, a box cutter and suspected methamphetamine.

Police also said Galbraith admitted to smoking methamphetamine and marijuana earlier that day.

Galbraith, who was homeless at the time of the shooting, was ultimately transported to Mercy Medical Center for treatment of his non-life threatening injury.

Due to Galbraith being admitted to the hospital he was released from custody pending a criminal complaint being filed with the Shasta County District Attorney's Office.

The statement did not detail what crime he would be charged with.

The Shasta County Major Crimes Unit is continuing its investigation into the incident and the Redding police officer was placed on administrative leave which is consistent with protocol in an officer-involved shooting.

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