12.17.2007

Incident commander testifies at coroner's inquest 09/13/2006

The second day of the coroner's inquest into the police shooting death of Cheri Lyn Moore saw the incident commander, SWAT observer and the negotiations team leader testify.

Eureka Police Lt. Tony Zanotti, who was the incident commander, said Moore was an “immediate threat to human life, to the building and to the officers.” Zanotti said all plans of action were based on Moore's actions.

Zanotti also said he directed Officer Kevin Lawson to find a man he had heard was talking to Moore by cell phone and take over the conversation, but Lawson couldn't find the man.

Humboldt County Coroner Frank Jager asked Zanotti if there was ever any discussions about contacting mental health personnel and bring them into the situation.

“At that point and time it had not been discussed,” Zanotti said.

Part of the negotiation team and the negotiation team leader also testified.

Mary Kirby, Eureka Police Chief Dave Douglas' administrative assistant, said she contacted Moore by phone twice, but that both times Moore was yelling and rude and hung up on her after a few seconds.

Eureka Police Sgt. Lynne Soderberg, the negotiation team leader, said she instructed the person who was talking by cell phone to Moore to hang up and not call her again to make sure negotiators were the only ones who had access to contact Moore, which she said was department policy.

Soderberg testified that the negotiation team was not involved in the decision to have SWAT enter the apartment when observers saw that both of Moore's hands were free.

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