The Clovis Police Department held a press conference in their Community Room on Tuesday to discuss the matter of an officer involved shooting. The shooting took place on July 12th at the corner of El Paso and Burl Ave in Clovis, and involved two officers and a white male suspect.
The suspect, identified as Paul Morrison, made two phone calls to 911 that same day to report that he was suicidal and that there would be a shootout with police if they were to arrive at his residence.
Chief Curt Fleming of the Clovis Police Department gave a timeline at the press conference after thanking the public and the media for being patient with Clovis PD as they still continue to gather evidence and investigate the matter.
At 12:42 p.m. Morrison gave the first call to 911 and according to Fleming a disturbance can be heard in the background. Officers arrived on scene and quickly learned that Morrison was moving out from the residence, and in doing so later learned this is when he was able to leave with a firearm. The firearm in question was used later at the shooting, but questions surround if Morrison ever actually fired his weapon.
The Police Department determined that the weapon in question was a “ghost gun” or a gun that was not properly registered with the Department of Justice. According to Fleming, a “ghost gun” can be 80% completed and ordered online or at a gun show. The final 20% of the gun can be finished at home, but once it is completely manufactured it must be registered legally with the DOJ. “That’s the part a lot of people forget to do, or choose not to do,” said Fleming.
Moving on with the timeline, at 4:18 P.M. Morrison called 911 again and this time told operators at the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department’s Dispatch Center, “There’s gonna be a suicide tonight.” The call was transferred to the Clovis PD Dispatch Center and an Emergency Cell Phone Ping was issued in order to locate Morrison.
As police officers were dispatched to the house once again, Morrison was not present, but made it clear to officers that he was surveilling them through his in-home surveillance system. Officers then left the house after seizing “multiple firearms” according to Fleming, “based on Morrison’s behavior.”
Morrison then moved back to his house, and over the next three hours, officers pleaded with Morrison to turn himself in and to not harm himself. Finally, Morrison stated over the phone that he was “Gonna get some gunpowder therapy.” Officers moved in on the scene and after Morrison pointed his weapon at officers, a total of 30 rounds in total were fired by Clovis PD. It is unsure if Morrison ever fired his weapon.
Chief Fleming could not determine where or how many times Morrison was hit with rounds but Morrison was hit and fell behind his vehicle which he had strategically placed in front of the house as a barricade.
Morrison is currently receiving treatment and is in stable condition and the Clovis Police Department as well as the Fresno County District Attorney’s office are still investigating the situation. It is believed by Chief Fleming that Morrison is facing possibly several felony charges including attempted homicide.
Two more firearms were recovered at Morrison’s house but it was not determined if those weapons were registered or indeed ghost guns as the weapon that was present at the crime scene.
Both officers who were present and discharged their weapons at the scene have been placed on administrative leave as per department policy. Chief Fleming stated that the last two officer involved shootings have been incidents in which suspects have possibly attempted the “suicide by officer” suicide attempt.
A link to body cam footage, recordings of dispatches, and a photo of the suspect can be seen, but will expire four weeks from today’s date.