Parents: Deputy didn't have to kill our son

Posted at 12:18 PM, Sep 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-12 19:19:43-04

A couple in Alpine hopes the shooting death of their son will change the way law enforcement deals with the mentally ill.

Simon Hubble was shot and killed by a San Diego County Sheriff's Deputy in May of 2015. Deputies were called to the family's home in a remote area of Alpine after social workers notified them that 33-year-old Simon Hubble was threatening suicide. Hubble thought he was going to be kicked out of his Sober Living Facility. He had also stopped taking his medication.

Several deputies showed up to the family's home on Emmanuel Way.

"We had emphasized that, you know, he was suicidal and he had said that he was going to go by cop, if they stopped him from doing what he wanted to do, which was to commit suicide by an overdose on heroin," said Sheri Hubble.

The couple says they warned the deputies that their son was armed.

"We kept explaining to them that all he has is a screwdriver and he's just going to threaten, and he's going to try to get you to kill him," said Sheri Hubble.

The couple says during the conversation with deputies, they heard shots coming from just down the street. 

"Within 14 seconds of the stop, he was dead, because there exists a 14 second audio tape of the stop," said Simon Hubble Sr.

According to the investigative narrative submitted to the Medical Examiner, Deputy Aaron Miller transmitted emergency radio traffic on 5/27/15 at 1722 hours. Fifteen seconds later, he transmitted over the radio that shots had been fired. Deputy Miller then stated CPR in progress, but attempts to revive the 33-year-old were unsuccessful. The report also showed there were no injuries associated with conducted "energy weapons."  According to law enforcement sources, it's not uncommon for a Taser dart to get caught on clothing or the deputy may have missed.

The San Diego District Attorney ruled that the shooting was justified. According to the deputy he fired his Taser twice at Hubble, but for some unknown reason, Hubble was still able to charge him with the screwdriver. The deputy fired his gun three times, hitting Hubble in the chest.

Hubble's parents believe the deputy should have spent more time trying to calm their son.

"We had no fear that he was going to hurt another person, that's not what he was about, that's not who he was," said his mom. She said her son did have a criminal record that included an arrest for assaulting an officer, but she said her son scratched an officer on the ear when the officer had her son face down on the ground.

The couple thinks a gun should have been used only as a last resort.

"Is that all they had was the Taser? Why did they have to pull the gun? They, you know, said they had rubber bullets, all these great tools they have to keep from killing someone when they know the person is suicidal," said Hubble.

10News contacted the San Diego Sheriff's Department regarding the shooting. A spokeswoman said the department and the district attorney's office conducted thorough investigations and stand by the conclusions reached.

Simon's parents have a memorial of their son in their yard. Flowers still sit in the road where he died. They believe law enforcement should have more training when dealing with the mentally ill.

"It's not like they ran into someone on the street and didn't know what they were dealing with," said Hubble adding, "They knew he was suicidal. We specifically told them to let them know so they could take care of themselves, but not at his expense," she said.

Simon Hubble's sister filed a complaint with the Citizens' Law Enforcement Review Board. A spokesman told her the case has yet to be reviewed.

San Diego County Crisis Line: 1-888-724-7240
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255