On April 26, 2018 at approximately 6:30 p.m., the Butte County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) received a 9-1-1 call from a residence in the 2100 block of Stanley Dr. in Palermo. The caller reported an unknown female was trespassing on the property and when asked to leave she refused and made threats to shoot the residents of the property. The caller provided a description of the female and the vehicle in which she arrived.
BCSO deputies Charles Lair and Mary Barker were dispatched to the call. When they arrived they found the female in the front yard and her vehicle parked in the driveway. As deputies approached the female, she had her hands behind her back, refusing directives from Deputy Lair to stop and show her hands. Based upon the threats to shoot the residents of the property, the deputies had concerns that the female was armed with a firearm.
Continuing to ignore Deputy Lair’s commands to show him her hands, the female walked to her vehicle and got into the driver’s seat. She quickly started the vehicle, put it into reverse and accelerated backwards at a high rate of speed towards Deputy Lair. As the vehicle came within approximately six feet of Deputy Lair, he attempted to move out of its path; however, the female appeared to steer the vehicle toward Deputy Lair’s location. Fearing he was in imminent danger of being run over by the vehicle, Deputy Lair fired seven shots from his handgun into the vehicle. At about the same time, Deputy Barker who was standing nearby fired six shots from her handgun into the vehicle, as she too was concerned that Deputy Lair was in imminent danger of being struck by the vehicle. Both deputies ceased firing when the vehicle slowed and ultimately came to a stop. The preliminary investigation reveals that only 15 to 20 seconds elapsed between the time the deputies arrived and the shooting occurred.
Deputies notified BCSO dispatch that shots were fired, requested medical aid and immediately began life saving efforts. Medical personnel responded and continued lifesaving efforts; however, the female died at the scene.
Both deputies were equipped with Body Worn Cameras; however, due to how rapidly the situation evolved they did not activate them until after the shooting occurred. The shooting was witnessed by three residents of the property and their statements corroborate the accounts of the deputies, each expressing a belief that Deputy Lair was in imminent danger of being run over by the vehicle when the shots were fired.
The female has been identified as Myra Lisa Micalizio, age 56, from Palermo. BCSO only had one prior contact with Micalizio in which she reported being the victim of a battery. An autopsy is pending and will be conducted by the Sacramento County Coroner’s Office.
Deputy Lair, age 41, is a 16 year veteran of BCSO and Deputy Barker, age 27, is a two year veteran of BCSO. Throughout the process of the investigation, Deputies Lair and Barker will be reassigned from field operations to administrative duties pending a meeting with the department’s psychologist.
The Butte County Officer Involved Shooting and Critical Incident Protocol Team was activated to investigate this deputy involved shooting. The Protocol Team is comprised of detectives and investigators from state and local agencies throughout Butte County. The team works closely with the Butte County District Attorney’s Office to conduct complete, thorough and independent investigations in cases of this nature. Further details related to this matter will be released by the Butte County District Attorney’s Office when the investigation is completed.