VIDEO: Chain-Wielding Attacker Fatally Shot While Going After Cop

San Diego Police Officer Corey Pitts retreated for over a block before he was forced to deploy his duty weapon.

San Diego, CA – The San Diego police officer who fatally shot a man who charged at him while swinging four-foot chain acted in self-defense and will not be held liable for the suspect’s death (video below).

Toxicology results indicated that Vaughn Denham, 48, was under the influence of methamphetamine, cannabinoids, and PCP when he allegedly attacked another person with a machete on Aug. 8, 2018, San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephens said, according to KGTV.

Denham carried out the attack during an argument over a dog chain, resulting in San Diego Police Officer Corey Pitts being dispatched to the scene.

Bodycam footage showed Officer Pitts bailed out of his patrol car as Denham advanced on him while swinging the chain.

“Drop that now! Drop the chain!” Officer Pitts yelled, as he backed away from his shirtless attacker.

Denham struck the patrol vehicle with the chain, at which point Officer Pitts deployed his Taser.

“Taser missed,” he said frantically over the radio, while Denham charged towards him.

He drew his duty weapon and ordered the suspect to get on the ground, but Denham continued his advance, bodycam footage showed.

“He’s approaching me with the chain,” the officer updated over the radio.

“You better get down now, or I’m going to shoot you!” he warned Denham.

The frantic officer continued to issue commands as he backed away for over a block, but the suspect walked steadily towards him in the middle of the street, intermittently swinging the chain.

Officer Pitts ultimately fired two rounds, and Denham collapsed to the ground as additional patrol units screeched up behind him.

Despite his wounds, Denham continued to fight with police as they took him into custody, the Times of San Diego reported.

He was transported to a local hospital, where he later died.

"Based on these circumstances, Pitts fired at Denham in his own defense," the district attorney’s office said, according to KGTV. "He therefore bears no state criminal liability for his actions."

The 57-year-old man who Denham attacked with the machete was taken to a trauma center with non-life threatening injuries, according to the Times of San Diego.

Retired San Diego Police SWAT Commander Ray Shay said that the case was a “classic suicide by cop,” KNSD reported.

He praised Officer Pitts’ handling of the incident, and said he had no choice but to shoot his attacker.

“Keep in mind there’s a big threat there, muscular man, long chain, and he keeps trying to close the gap,” said Commander Shay, a former lethal force instructor. “This officer showed great restraint backing up for that long. I mean, he walked back a block and a half. That officer did a great job.”

The San Diego Police Department’s internal investigation into the officer-involved shooting is ongoing, but Officer Pitts has returned to regular patrol, KNSD reported.

You can watch bodycam footage of Officer Pitts’ encounter with the chain-wielding attacker in the video below. WARNING - Graphic Content:

Comments (62)
No. 1-30
SAINT Brand Cannabis
SAINT Brand Cannabis

What a nightmare for all. Listen to the poor woman screaming in the background; begging him to stop. Clearly, not in his right mind.

Now, what if Officers did have a tool to stop such a threat; safely, effectively, and immediately...  

dcoskrey
dcoskrey

Well … nobody can say the officer didn't give the thug every chance to surrender and be a thug another day. Well, I take that back, critics will say he should have engaged in hand to chain combat, and pulled some Chuck Norris TV moves.

Smaugmik
Smaugmik

I don't feel sorry for a thug who already attacked an acquaintance with a machete. I'm 100% sure it wasn't the first violent act on his record.

JDS
JDS

The cop gave him 1 minute & thirty seconds longer than I would have. Ten seconds and I would have iced that piece of shit.

Yahderhey
Yahderhey

Thats right.

Dmoe63
Dmoe63

It is sad for all.

Yahderhey
Yahderhey

JDS is right.

nadkram
nadkram

I would have shot long before that.

gfc1963
gfc1963

Should have shot him in the first 20 seconds.

HAWAIIBLUE
HAWAIIBLUE

Good job and good restraint officer. He gave him way more time and chance to stop. Now we’ll wait and see how much his family gets and how he got shot just because he’s black. Never mind the chain, never mind he disregarded the orders, it will be all about how he is black. Oh, and probably how the officer should have “shot the chain from his hand” or some other reason that people (who are out of touch with reality) would come up with.

LEO0301
LEO0301

I don't think backing up so far is a good idea. If he had tripped, that chain wielding maniac would have been on him like white on rice.

JBo
JBo

Forget the Taser...in that situation, not on my list of choices at all.

MajScallywag
MajScallywag

“Suicide by cop”? I think NOT. More like suicide by drugged up asshole. See, DRUGS KILL!! PS: he lived longer than he would have if he were attacking me. And I probably would have double-tapped twice. Good riddance to druggie thug trash. One less POS in the neighborhood.

Propolice
Propolice

He’d be back on the street being the drugged up thug that he is!

Propolice
Propolice

And another thug bites the dust👏

THEDUKE
THEDUKE

Have you noticed how often the thug tries to play the "tough guy /defiant role" like they are in some poor B movie action flick....unfortunately they are also playing the stupid and then dead role as well.

Thinblueline
Thinblueline

And....buh bye.

BlueMooseCode4
BlueMooseCode4

What a sad commentary on how the police have been cowed into having to back up for over a block while some maniac loser thug threatens his life and has already attacked another person with a machete.

Mig Alley
Mig Alley

Never bring a chain to a gun fight. 🤔

NFPD103
NFPD103

the officer did what he needed too, a little longer than I think it should have taken.

SCPD989
SCPD989

I hope the cop is ok. That dead POS probably caused the officer serious post shooting stress

vwiles34
vwiles34

I wonder how much his family will try and sue for? And when will the public outcry AKA : Reason to loot stores and get on Tv. begin.

Terminaters168
Terminaters168

Black again

NealZ
NealZ

well bye

NealZ
NealZ

100 bucks says he won't do that again.

AprilShowers2
AprilShowers2

Wow you’re good Neal. 🕵🏻‍♂️

kens123
kens123

Good job Officer.

Jaroslaw
Jaroslaw

His name is in the story. Why is his face obscured?

Maxximus One
Maxximus One

This is a very considerate police officer. He tried very valiantly to keep from killing this man.

Jaroslaw
Jaroslaw

I read in another article the niece Voneva was quoted as saying her Uncle was murdered by the police and the family wants to meet with the police chief to discuss the video to discuss what transpired. REALLY? The video clearly shows the perp was given 50 chances to obey the officer and back down. He didn’t.