Boyfriend in deadly Yuba City officer-involved shooting charged

5:58 PM, May 24, 2010   |    comments
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  • Lionel Craig Patterson
  • Victoria Helen Roger-Vasselin


YUBA CITY, CA - A Yuba City man accused of drawing a gun on a police officer and another person in connection with the officer-involved fatal shooting of his girlfriend was charged in Sutter County Monday.

Lionel Craig Patterson, 51, pleaded not guilty to one count of assault with a firearm on a peace officer and one count of assault with a firearm on a person. Victoria Helen Roger-Vasselin, 67, died during the confrontation with Yuba City police last Thursday night, May 20.

The incident began when a worker with the U.S. Census Bureau arrived a residence on Mariner Loop in Yuba City around 8 that evening, according to police. After refusing to answer census questions, the worker claimed the residents pointed a gun at her.

Census spokesman Sonny Le said the worker was shaken and took time to compose herself before calling her supervisor in Fairfield. The supervisor then called police.

When officers arrived at the Mariner Loop home around 10 p.m., they were approached by Patterson, who was holding a handgun, said Yuba City Police Department spokeswoman Shawna Pavey. While two officers were struggling with Patterson on the ground to put down his gun, Pavey said Roger-Vasselin advanced on officers with a shotgun.

"They repeatedly ordered her to put the gun down, and when she did not comply with those orders, it left them no other alternatives but to shoot," Pavey said.

Roger-Vasselin was pronounced dead at the scene. Five officers involved at the scene have been placed on administrative leave while there is an investigation.

The jailed Patterson was charged and entered his plea via webcam to the judge presiding over his case. Bail was set at $140,000 and a public defender will be appointed to represent him. 


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