Before moving to Benicia, John Sheveland spent 25 and a half years as a street cop in San Francisco. That stint was followed by time with the Solano County Marshall Office, Marin County Sheriff Department, and Solano Community College Police. "It sounds like I'm a rookie," he laughs "but I don't like bad guys."
According to early reports and his own account, on Wednesday, June 27, Sheveland chased a male suspect out of Raley's after a violent confrontation with a second suspect inside the store. The second suspect, a woman is accused of stealing wallets from other store patrons. The suspect Sheveland chased allegedly took the purse that contained the stolen wallets and jumped in his car to leave.
When Sheveland approached the car, he identified himself as a police officer, placing his badge against the window. The suspect then hit him with the vehicle as he backed out of the parking space knocking Sheveland to the ground. Sheveland then fired his revolver twice at the oncoming vehicle, rolling out of it's path just in time. Both shots hit the vehicle.
As a law enforcement officer, Sheveland fired his weapon four times in the line of duty. "I'm not a gun-happy cowboy," Sheveland said. "Each time was a justified shooting and determined as a justified shooting." The incident in Benicia was the fifth time he fired his weapon "in the line of duty."
"I've been trained for 40 years with a gun," Sheveland said. "I don't look for situations... that happened (June 27th) escalated far enough where I felt I had to get involved." Sheveland asserted that, "if it was simply a verbal conflict, I would have walked away."
According to Lt. Frank Hartig of the , unlike an incident with an active officer who discharges his fire arm, "there is no administrative review, there's not a governing agency," for situations involving retired officers. Ultimately, Hartig said, "at some point (Sheveland's) retiring agency could request a copy of the report to review to make sure he was in compliance with their requirements."
At the time of the incident, Benicia Police Department checked Sheveland's identification card and found that he meets the statutory compliance to carry a firearm. "We referred the report to the District Attorney's office, and will let the District Attorney review the report in totality to determine if anything should be done regarding (Sheveland)," Hartig said.