UPDATE: Retired Law Enforcement Officer says "I felt I had to get involved"

John Sheveland, a long time Benicia resident and 38-year law enforcement veteran wasn't looking for trouble when he went to the Southampton Shopping Center.

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.

Summer Hemphill July 12, 2012 at 02:22 PM
As a retired police officer he has every right to carry a concealed weapon for his personal safety. Instead of bothering to identify himself perhaps he should have shot the tires first & then demanded that the suspect get out of the vehicle at gunpoint. In a fluid situation his years of training are an asset when it comes to the split second decisions that may take or save a life. While some may question his actions,at least he took the initiative & got involved knowing full well that he would ultimately be held to account for any action he took ! I can't speak to what kind of police officer he was,but on Wednesday June 27th he was a hero !
Steve Ochs July 12, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Mr Voigt: So you are going to have your Lawyer write a letter? Why can't you write it yourself? So you if you can't write? Can you read? If you can't, WATCH the news on television. Crime is on the increase and Police staffing is on the decrease. WE NEED competent involved citizens like John Sheveland. I'm a retired Peace Officer. I did over 30 years. I worked with John Sheveland and trusted him with my life numerous times. I choose not to carry a gun, but applaud John for doing so. I also applaud him for his actions!!
Insider July 12, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Robert you missed the mark again, his actions, as in using his weapon were fine, but he is a citizen, he can not identify himself as a "Peace Officer" nor can you or anyone else who is not working for a Police Dept, its that plain and simple. the thug was caught, and not charged with "Assault on a Peace Officer" you know why? because he is a citizen now, he know longer works for a PD, in that aspect he made an error, no harm, but if he is as upright and God Fearing, God Bless America, etc kind of guy as you and he project to be, you should be able to understand. That you can not go around identifying yourself as a PD when you are not, Got it Robert, God Bless America, guided by a Higher Power, oh doesn't that sound American, you are bit sappy, I love USA and God, but not Men who use God Bless America as a shield to validate their "Right Wing Agenda" and refuse to admit that they may have made an error. And I am sure he earned his "Retired Badge". Peace Officers all earn the Badge, Risking their Life everyday for You and I.
Robert Livesay July 12, 2012 at 04:23 PM
If God Bless America is a gualification to be right wing I am guilty as charged. So Insider I guess you do not like me or any Conservative or as you call them right wingers. Nothing makes me happier than not to have you as an admirer. God Bless America from a very Patriotic American. I sure would like you to join the team America it is not a bad group.
Summer Hemphill July 12, 2012 at 04:39 PM
When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag & carrying a bible ! Waving the flag & being conservative makes you no more patriotic or American than those who don't & are liberal,though you certainly & erroneously think it does !
Don July 12, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Thank You Mr. Sheveland! There are some silly comments here. Mr. Voight, go and have your lawyer write a letter, that will help ensure that he gets more criminal defense work. Might I also note that these two thugs don't live in Marin, so maybe they will see Marin as their next playground. JC and T.Gunter, watch some more CSI before making an opinion, the bus stop on Southampton Dr. is no grassy knoll. Hopefully, these two will learn a lesson and remember that Benicia is where Mr. Sheveland lives and he shops at Raley's, and hopefully elsewhere with friends who also will get involved. Perhaps, the suspects(don't want any lawyer suing me for slander) wouldn't have gotten this far in their careers if there were more like Mr. Sheveland. ~Don PS: I am for gun control, have never fired a gun, but am glad that people on my side also have guns.
T. Gunter July 12, 2012 at 04:53 PM
"They do want to second guess and take a look at things." Come on now Bob, you have to admit this is usually your M.O., right?
T. Gunter July 12, 2012 at 04:56 PM
"John you were guided in the right direction by someone much more powerful than myself or any of the other folks" Who? Did John pull the trigger, or was it this other person you speak of?
T. Gunter July 12, 2012 at 05:02 PM
Don, What exactly does "Hopefully, these two will learn a lesson" mean? Don't you think you are being a little self-righteous? I just expressed an opinion, no harm no foul.
T. Gunter July 12, 2012 at 05:07 PM
You should not get mad John. JC's question was viable However, you shouldn't even feel obliged to address them.
Robert Livesay July 12, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Never said what you think I am saying. Liberals also wave the flag and are also Patriotic. I just chose to make sure Liberals know I am a Conservative. It drives you crazy that Romney is the next President .. I sure love America I also think you do to Summer. We just express it in a different way.
Robert Livesay July 12, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Insider you are both right and wrong. He can show his badge and identify himself as a police officer. It is that simple. His arresting powers are as a citizen. I suggest insider you do your homework on this one. You are not telling the folks the story about his badge and identity process correctly.
Summer Hemphill July 12, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Mute Rmoney isn't going to get elected,the Republicans couldn't have chosen a worse candidate to run against President Obama ! He insulted the NAACP yesterday by derisively referring to the health care legislation as "Obamacare" eliciting the boos he needs to shore up support from the racist element of the GOP. His idea of "soul food" is Chicken & Waffles on yet another issue ! While most Republicans don't know that President Obama is a Protestant,according to the latest polling 54% of Americans know Romneys a Moron !
Robert Livesay July 12, 2012 at 08:22 PM
Well Summer that was a very brutal attack on someone. You appear to have missed the other seasons. Just so I will be on the record Romney wins over 290 electoral voes, Republicans win the Senate with at least 51 seats keep control of the house with 235 seats. So if hope and change of broken promises does win he will be a true non effective President which he has already done a good job of showing Americans that already. But he will not win. Your hope and change is already hopeless and short changed. What happened to the reduction in unemployment, debt just for starters. I do hope he keeps up this pace toward recovery. Bty the way it has always been called Obamacare.
Lance July 12, 2012 at 09:58 PM
Given the financial circumstances of our local governments, the shortage of police officers, and the sometimes feeling we are "under siege" by the criminal element I welcome the presence of retired officers and their ability to contribute to public safety. Thank you John for getting involved at the risk of your own safety!
JC July 12, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Mr Livesay, You probably should not have become part of this conversation, because even though the Benicia Police are not going to be critical of your statements (due to being a former officer) the citizens of Benicia, porbably will. Answering your former comment to me.......No it does not make things clear.... First of all, your statement was that you fired twice, then rolled out of the way. That statement would justify your shooting at the oncoming vehicle (if you were still an active Officer). But your now changing your story to state that when you took the second shot, you were already out of the way of the vehicle? .SO, it was not being used as a deadly weapon, it was simply a suspect that was trying to get away, right? SO, how is the second shot justified??????? Everyone keeps using the fact that no-one was hurt = no big deal.(continued)
JC July 12, 2012 at 11:24 PM
But what if the unwarranted shot, had riccoched and killed a newborn child? Police officers get away with far too much, their penalty for murder, is a paid vacation. The question was was raised, as to why he is permitted to still carry a badge? The answer is = to retain his blue immunity. . I must re-enforce the fact, that I am not anti-cop. I beleive that law enforcement plays a vital role in our community. And Benicia has some excellent officers on the force. What I am against, is when Police officers are PERMITTED to lie, in order to protect themselves, or to prosectue another. Benicia Police just promoted one officer to Seargeant, that lies on a regular basis. He will be a mentor for officers below him, and its just a matter of time, before it ends up costing the city a considerable amount of money (and reverses the prosecution of otherwise valid criminals) continued..... .
JC July 12, 2012 at 11:26 PM
Police Officers are supposed to be honest, and set an example. When did it change to = police officers can do as they wish, and are not subject to prosecution under any circumstance (retired officers included) Bottom line= there is no possible way to justify the shot into the door. It is illegal to discharge a firearm within the city limit, and it was discharged in a busy parking lot. Since there was no justification for the shot. He should be cited for it. The judge will rule it out anyways. But anyone, other than a former officer, would be charged with at least that much. I think it's great that he stepped in, and feel EVERYONE should assist with every situation, that requires it. If we all do our part, it is possible to keep the criminal scum out of our town (even if they have a Benicia address, WE can make sure that they actually reside in Solano Jail) And, I do not find it offensive, if your opinion differs from mine. I actually find it educational and somewhat amusing. Feel free to express your opinion.
Robert Livesay July 13, 2012 at 03:30 AM
JC I have no idea who you are. JC who is a former police officer? I think you will find out it is not me. JC I do believe your comments are confusing and for sure not very clear. Just who are you talking about? Is it me or the retired police officer. It does sound like you may have some issues on this whole thing. Now do you think I was a former police officer? JC just who are you talkig about when you say an officer who lies on a regular basis. Just step up to the plate tell everyone whio you are and also idenify the officer that lies on a regular basis. I do think JC that you just shot yourself down and at this point no one cares about your rambles.. Tell us who JC is. I do think I have an idea.
Bong Sativa July 13, 2012 at 04:21 AM
If they killed each other everyone wins,one less scumbag & one less pension ! Dead people stimulate the economy ! Police officers,firefighters,ambulance drivers,doctors,nurses,coroners,morticians,funeral directors,hearse drivers,grave diggers,ministers,florists & everybodies making bank ! So if you're taking up valuable space on this planet,using up the resourses without making a viable contribution in exchange,you might consider strengthening our economy by ending it all now & beating the rush after election day !
Insider July 13, 2012 at 05:35 AM
Robert, I have completed my homework, you still refuse to look at the fact, the scumbag was not charged with assaulting a Peace Offer, because Sheveland was not a Peace Officer. He can not Flash a badge stating that he is a Peace Officer, he did it for reasons of intimidation, a power trip due to his identity no longer held the status as "Public Servant" he is now just like the rest of us, paying taxes and dying. When you retire, thats it, no more powers of arrest or jurisdiction as a Peace Officer. And yes a retired PO can apply for a concealed weapons permit, where upon the individual must qualify on an annual basis. Are you really having that hard of time accepting this? You can still support him as a good citizen doing the right thing, Sheveland is well aware that once the threat of imminent danger or loss of life is not present, discharging of a firearm is not an option. So, if he rolled out of the way and the vehicle is driving away from him, where is the threat? If he was an active duty officer, a shooting review board would be scrutinizing this incident for sure.
Lieutenant July 13, 2012 at 06:46 PM
In this world there are sheep, sheep dogs, and wolves. Wolves have no rules and would take the lives of unsuspecting sheep if it were not for the sheep dog. Sheep meander along, eating grass and thinking everything is great. The problem; for every sheep dog there are 100 wolves, and millions of sheep. Stand up, take action, get involved. When was the last time one of you intervened in a situation like this? You might get hurt, hurt bad, or dead. Which one of you can say, "for a person I do not know, I put my life on the line." Failing to take action, 95% of you do, is worse than what occurred here. Ask yourself, how many times have you gone home and told your loved one about a fist fight you saw, battery against a woman you saw, yet took no action at the time. There are people with guts; those who stand up for people who cannot stand for themselves; those who do not worry about a pending law suit, an attorney writing a letter, or a citizen raling against the system. Guts is what built our country and there are too damn many whimps around.
Robert Livesay July 13, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Lieutenant you are right.
Elaine July 13, 2012 at 08:28 PM
Thank you VERY much John!! It is because of your ACTION and bravery that the criminal element from surrounding cities will think twice before coming to work in our town. All of your nay-sayers wouldn't be typing so much if it was their wallet that was stolen. We are very lucky to live in a town with so much police presence. Thank you again for your willingness to get involved!!
Elaine July 13, 2012 at 08:32 PM
You may not be anti-cop...but you sure are ignorant. You have no idea what you are talking about.
Robert Livesay July 14, 2012 at 02:01 AM
Elaine you are rising to the top. I love your very concerned comments. You do care about people and understand a man of Valor. It seems others do not. Wait till they need him. They will change their mind. I do believe we need some T-Shirts to wear around town in support of our hero. Donate all proceeds to keep the State Park open. Now that is a good idea.
JC July 14, 2012 at 02:49 AM
Robert, I apologize for any confusion with my prior post. My computer was having issues with patch.com - resulting in a huge delay betwoon keystrokes, and what actually showed up on screen. Anyways..... The Comment was meant to be directed toward Mr Shevland. It was my error by addressing it with your name. And you should feel free to comment in any way you wish, in this forum. It was Mr. Shevland, that probably should have avoided becoming part of the discussion. I'm not going to name the Bpd Seargeant I was referring to - Don't feel like receiving a slander or defamation (spelling?) charge. And due to the retalitory nature of police officers, it probably best that I stay a bit of a mystery. (continued)
JC July 14, 2012 at 03:06 AM
I will reveal the fact that I am no where near a criminal. I've volunteered 100's of hours, assisting the City of Benicia- and have even received a "Thank you" letter from the Mayor, for assisting with a situation - years ago. Enough said. Sorry again, Mr Livesay. (Hopefully my prior comment will make a bit more sense - if you realize that it was actually directed toward Mr Shevland) It was Mr Shevlands comment... "The second shot was into the passengers door. Understand now?????" That still did not make sense.
RJ Stewart July 14, 2012 at 03:07 AM
One can be thought of as brave and a man of valor for getting involved in apprehending a "suspect." At the same time one may be categorized as somewhat careless for unnecessarily discharging a firearm at a fleeing car with bystanders around. Stealing a wallet and trying to get away warrants deadly force? I will admit however if it were my wallet being stolen I would want Mr. Sheveland around but based on his marksmanship I would want to be behind him.
Michael Randolph September 13, 2012 at 09:18 PM
The good Officer in question, should just go ahead and ONLY protect himself and his family. Let the above cry babies wished they had this type of Officer around when they need help. Just think if an Officer (Ret.) had their weapon when the shooting started in that movie theater back east, maybe the outcome would be different. Just think if an Officer (Ret) had their weapon when the Congress Lady and others were shot in AZ, maybe the outcome would be different. Carrying a weapon is a valued responsibility, using it to protect and help citizens when you are not even an active Officer is valorous.


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