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Sheriff’s Office IDs Man Killed During Struggle With Deputy; Releases Photos Of His Weapon

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Photo: Gun recovered from under Paul Ridgeway. CCSO

The Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff and the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office are continuing to investigate an officer involved shooting per the county’s law enforcement involved fatal incident protocol.

The suspect has been officially identified as 41-year-old Paul Ridgeway of Discovery Bay. The autopsy took place this morning. The cause of death is listed as gunshot wounds. Toxicology tests will also be conducted.

The Crime Lab of the Forensic Services Division yesterday processed the scene. Ridgeway was face down on the ground and

Photo: CCSO

when technicians turned him over, they found a loaded gun with his finger on the trigger. A extended gun magazine was also found in his pocket. An expended bullet casing likely fired from that gun was found near him.

The Deputy Sheriff involved in this incident is Matthew Gauthier. He has been with the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office for over eight years. His current assignment is in patrol. He is currently on paid administrative leave.

Yesterday morning at about 9:03, two Deputy Sheriffs handled a detail on Adelaide Drive in Pacheco. They cleared the call at about 9:31. As Deputy Gauthier left the area, he noticed Ridgeway, who had an outstanding warrant, on foot in the area of Adelaide Drive and Pacheco Boulevard. Deputy Gauthier went to contact Ridgeway. Ridgeway kept reaching into his waistband and ran away leading to a foot pursuit. Deputy Gauthier attempted to physically control Ridgeway, giving numerous verbal commands to show his hands. A struggle ensued with Ridgeway pulling out a firearm from his waistband. He fired one shot toward Deputy Gauthier’s head. Deputy Gauthier returned fire, shooting Ridgeway. The Fire Department and an ambulance responded to the location. Ridgeway was later pronounced deceased at the scene.

Ridgeway had a no-bail warrant for evading and resisting arrest from another county. He had extensive prior contacts with law enforcement that include drug possession, multiple counts of assault with a deadly weapon, possession of dangerous weapons, felon in possession of a firearm, stolen vehicle possession, obstruction, possession of burglary tools and parole violation. Ridgeway was validated as a member of the Family Affiliated Irish Mafia (FAIM) and an associate of the Nazi Low Riders, both of which are white supremacist prison and street gangs.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with any information on this incident is asked to contact the Office of the Sheriff Investigation Division at (925) 313-2600. For any tips, please email: tips@so.cccounty.us or call 866-846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I watched a video of his girlfriend in tears last night, talking about he’d turned his life around. Writing children’s books, and donating part of the proceeds to charity. Give me a break. My compassion is for Officer Gauthier and his family.

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