JOANN KALENAK, DCCR SENIOR BLOGGER — The local district attorney will not charge a Sheriff Department’s officer in the shooting death of Paige (Schmidt) Pierce.
During a press conference held this morning, Seventh Judicial District Attorney Seth Ryan issued the office’s investigation report and after presenting body cam and other diagrams, explained that the agency could not prove that Deputy Sheriff Nolan Davis’ life was not in danger when Pierce steered her vehicle toward him in an attempt to elude capture.
“The district attorney’s office cannot prove, beyond on a reasonable doubt, that Davis was not in danger,” said Ryan. Ryan then elaborated on the elements that constitute actions of self-defense for law enforcement officers.
Investigators determined that Pierce’s trajectory was “fairly straight” toward officer Davis and his truck just before he fired into Pierce’s vehicle. At one point, investigators measured the distance between Davis’ truck tires and Pierce’s to be 18 inches apart. Davis testified that he “felt like he could reach up and touch the car” just before he opened fire.
“As he got out of truck, he pulled his weapon,” Ryan stated. “He fired eight times into the windshield.”
The press conference was limited to reporters while family members and friends protested outside of Bill Heddles Community Center in Delta where the conference was held.
“I want justice for my sister,” posted protest organizer, Robert Schmidt , on a “Justice for Paige” Facebook group website. Other posts conveyed similar messaging especially after seeing the body cam video of the shooting yesterday. Many believe that Davis had other alternatives besides “pulling his piece out and shooting.”
Pierce was initially pulled over on Highway 92 by Davis because her car did not have license plates. A high-speed chase ensued ending in a private driveway on Hidden Springs Road.
Paige’s husband, Jacob Pierce, is son to school board member Beth (Gerard, Pierce) Suppes and local resident Victor Pierce. Jacob is awaiting trial on several felony and misdemeanor charges unrelated to Paige’s shooting.