UPDATE: Deceased woman ID’d after fatal shooting in Alta Sierra | TheUnion.com
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UPDATE: Deceased woman ID’d after fatal shooting in Alta Sierra

Deputy Involved Shooting

Please take a moment to view this video message from Sheriff Moon regarding the deputy-involved shooting on Thursday.

-Video Transcript-
Good afternoon Nevada County, I am your Sheriff, Shannan Moon. As you may know, yesterday your Sheriff’s Office was involved in a deputy-involved shooting in Alta Sierra. This was a rapidly evolving incident that unfortunately led to the loss of this young lady’s life. Each and every day our staff are called on to respond to situations that can have unpredictable outcomes. We take that responsibility very seriously and when tragic events occur, they impact everyone including our staff and their families.

Immediately following the incident, I requested that the Nevada County District Attorney’s Office conduct the formal investigation into the incident. This is to ensure the investigation remains independent from the Sheriff’s Office. This investigation will include taking statements from multiple witnesses, reviewing any available video footage as well as an in-depth analysis of the forensic evidence at the scene. I ask that you have patience with the investigative process as the highly skilled detectives from the District Attorney’s Office with the assistance from the Grass Valley Police Department and Truckee Police Department work diligently to recreate the events of Thursday afternoon. We also will conduct a complete review of the deputy’s actions based on our policies and procedures.

In the coming weeks, my office will publicly release video and or audio that may help to describe the incident. While it will not change the outcome, it will provide the transparency that your Sheriff’s Office is committed to.
With respect to future updates regarding this case, all information updates will be issued by the Nevada County District Attorney’s Office.

Based on standard policy, the two deputies involved have been placed on administrative leave. They are Deputy Caleb Toderean with four and a half years of service and Deputy Matthew Harrison with four years of service to Nevada County. We have received numerous questions as to the well-being of the deputies; I am thankful neither one of them were physically injured during this incident.

Finally, I would like to thank the many residents of Alta Sierra, including several that stopped to assist. I am aware of the significant inconvenience this created in your neighborhood and appreciate your patience and understanding.

Posted by Nevada County Sheriff's Office on Friday, February 5, 2021

The woman fatally shot by a Nevada County sheriff’s deputy during a confrontation Thursday afternoon accused law enforcement of trying to take her children, authorities said.

The woman, identified as Ariella Sage Eloise Crawford, 33, was reported to have been acting erratically while armed with a knife.

Crawford, whose birth name was Deidre Eloise Hawkins, appeared to have ties to California and Oregon and had been in the area for at least a few months, said Nevada County Assistant District Attorney Chris Walsh.



Shortly after 1 p.m. Thursday, the Nevada County Regional Dispatch Center received several calls of a woman, who was possibly under the influence, walking in the middle of Alta Sierra Drive with two small children. Several deputies responded to the area near Names Drive and made contact with the woman, sheriff’s spokesman Andrew Trygg said.

During the incident, one deputy tried to deploy a Taser at some point and the other fired his service weapon, Walsh said. On Friday, Nevada County Sheriff Shannan Moon released the identity of the two deputies involved as Deputy Caleb Toderean, with four and a half years of service, and Deputy Matthew Harrison, with four years of service to Nevada County.



Both deputies have been placed on paid administrative leave, Moon said in a video released on the department’s Facebook page.

“This was a rapidly evolving incident that unfortunately led to the loss of this young lady’s life,” Moon said in the video. “Each and every day, our staff are called on to respond to situations that can have unpredictable outcomes. We take that responsibility very seriously and when tragic events occur, they impact everyone, including our staff and their families.”

According to Walsh, Crawford was with her two children and when contacted, she immediately became defensive.

“She started making statements that you are not going to take my kids away,” Walsh said, adding that the deputies tried to calm her with no success.

“We believe the dash-cam footage will show she attacked one or more of the deputies with a knife,” he said.

Moon said she requested that the Nevada County District Attorney’s Office conduct the formal investigation into the incident, adding. “This is to ensure the investigation remains independent from the Sheriff’s Office. This investigation will include taking statements from multiple witnesses, reviewing any available video footage as well as an in-depth analysis of the forensic evidence at the scene.”

According to Trygg, the Sheriff’s Office uses an “in-county” team based on its familiarity with the local judicial system.

“It makes the ability to obtain warrants or communicate with the judges more efficient,” he said. “As a side note, it is very common, in the surrounding counties, to have a team like this. Placer County has a regional team that is comprised of the police departments and Yuba-Sutter has a similar team.”

Moon pledged to conduct a complete review of the deputies’ actions based on her department’s policies and procedures, and to publicly release video and or audio that could help to describe the incident.

According to Walsh, dash-cam footage from the two patrol vehicles captured a majority of the incident as it unfolded, and he expected the footage to be released next week.

Crawford’s ties to the county are being investigated, Walsh said, adding she had had several “minor” contacts with law enforcement. In October, he said, Crawford and another party engaged in a physical altercation in which both claimed the other was the aggressor.

“Obviously, one of the focuses of the investigation will be to determine what was going on with her, if she was suffering from a mental health issue, or had a drug history,” Walsh said.

An autopsy was performed Friday, but toxicology results will take some time, he said.

The two children, who appeared to both be younger than 5 years old, remained in the custody of Child Protective Services, Walsh said.

UPDATE at 4:18 p.m.

From the District Attorney’s Office:

At this time the District Attorney’s Office can confirm the identity of the woman who died yesterday as being Ariella Sage Eloise Crawford, DOB 3/17/87. Her birth name was Deidre Eloise Hawkins. Her next of kin has been notified.

It has also been confirmed that the two young children who were present were Ms. Crawford’s children.

More details will be released as the investigation proceeds.

Initially posted

Nevada County Sheriff Shannan Moon on Friday released the identity of two deputies involved in the fatal shooting of a woman in Alta Sierra Thursday afternoon.

“Based on standard policy, the two deputies involved have been placed on administrative leave,” Moon said in a video posted on the department’s Facebook page. “They are Deputy Caleb Toderean, with four-and-a-half years of service, and Deputy Matthew Harrison, with four years of service to Nevada County.”

The woman, whose identity has not yet been released, was reported to have been acting erratically while armed with a knife.

Shortly after 1 p.m. Thursday, the Nevada County Regional Dispatch Center received several calls of a woman walking in the middle of Alta Sierra Drive with two small children, who was possibly under the influence. Several deputies responded to the area near Names Drive and made contact with the woman, sheriff’s spokesman Andrew Trygg said.

During the incident, one deputy tried to deploy a Taser and the other fired his service weapon, said Nevada County Assistant District Attorney Chris Walsh. The DA’s office has taken the lead in investigating the incident.

The two children, who appeared to both be younger than 5 years old, are in the custody of Child Protective Services, Walsh said.

“This was a rapidly evolving incident that unfortunately led to the loss of this young lady’s life,” Moon said in the video. “Each and every day, our staff are called on to respond to situations that can have unpredictable outcomes. We take that responsibility very seriously and when tragic events occur, they impact everyone including our staff and their families.”

Moon said she requested that the Nevada County District Attorney’s Office conduct the formal investigation into the incident, adding. “This is to ensure the investigation remains independent from the Sheriff’s Office. This investigation will include taking statements from multiple witnesses, reviewing any available video footage as well as an in-depth analysis of the forensic evidence at the scene.”

Moon pledged to conduct a complete review of the deputy’s actions based on her department’s policies and procedures, and to publicly release video and or audio that could help to describe the incident.

According to Walsh, dash-cam footage from the two patrol vehicles captured a majority of the incident as it unfolded, and he expected the footage to be released next week.

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at lizk@theunion.com.


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