SACRAMENTO, CALIF – On Friday night, deputies working in the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Gang Suppression Unit, or GSU, opened fire on a vehicle connected to an open investigation in Carmichael. The occupants were two Black men.
The sheriff’s office says detectives tried to “make contact” with the occupants of the vehicle when gunshots were fired. One detective was hospitalized, and one occupant of the vehicle was shot and killed.
The man killed was 24-year-old Kershawn Geiger, pronounced dead on the scene. Law enforcement officials say they were shot at, while Geiger’s brother, JW, says neither of the men in the car shot at the police. He believes it was a case of friendly-fire resulting in the inadvertent death of his brother.
“I believe that the [officer] on my side, also shot through the window, and I believe it may have hit the other officer,” JW said.
The stop was made in front of the Crestview North apartments in Carmichael. Geiger’s family says Kershawn had just dropped off his mother and 2-year-old daughter for the night.
Geiger’s family support JW’s claim of friendly fire, highlighting Kershawn’s character.
“Nah, he was a loving kid. He loved life,” Jethro Geiger, Kershawn’s father, said. “I know that no gunshot was fired from inside the vehicle, as they claim. The officer that was shot was shot by friendly fire.”
“They’re not saying who shot first or who shot at all. They’re not even saying that my son shot. They’re making it appear that way,” said Yaphette Geiger, Kershawn’s mother.
The Geiger family says Kershawn was a part-time electrician while going to school. They confirmed the second man in the car, JW, as Kershawn’s brother.
Along with the District Attorney’s Office and Inspector General, the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau and Professional Standards Division are also investigating.
A social media campaign seeking justice in Kershawn’s death has emerged online. Flyers such as the one below have been shared on Instagram:
Geiger is the 21st person to be shot by Sacramento law enforcement authorities since 2013.
SOURCE: FOX40, ABC10 (x2), CBS
* There’s an inconsistency in the way Geiger’s name is spelled between the flyer and the official spelling of his name. His family and media have it spelled as Geiger.