shot by cops was pushed ‘over the edge’
A week before he died in a blaze of police gunfire, Daniel Lee Lucha Jr.’s family reported him missing to the Butte County Sheriff’s Department.
The missing person’s report was filed March 27. Prior to the shooting, Lucha was last seen on March 20 in the Oroville area, sheriff’s Sgt. Jason Hail said.
“His father (Daniel Sr.) contacted us with the report,” Hail said.
One of Lucha’s family members declined to comment on Friday.
Lucha, 35, was shot and killed by police Wednesday morning in Yuba City after a vehicle pursuit through Yuba and Sutter counties. Police believe Lucha robbed two fast food restaurants in Marysville and Yuba City during the final two days of his life.
Police said Lucha had a handgun during the Burger King robbery Tuesday night, but have not said whether he was still armed during the chase and subsequent police shooting. Two witnesses reported seeing Lucha fire at law enforcement during the chase, but police have not confirmed those accounts.
An Ohio resident, Lucha came to Butte County in early January working for BMS Catastrophe, a Texas-based commercial disaster and recovery corporation, Lucha’s family attorney Kevin Little confirmed.
The state Department of Water Resources hired BMS in January to help clean up the Ronald B. Robie Power Plant in Thermalito, which sustained massive damage during a Nov. 22 fire, according to Pete Scheele, a DWR spokesman.
A BMS employee, who declined to be named due to employment concerns, described Lucha as good-natured man, but said Lucha had been struggling with a company supervisor who Lucha felt was treating him unfairly.
“He was a really hard worker, and it’s just a shock,” the employee said. “He never, ever seemed like a criminal.”
Lucha was employed as “general restoration supervisor,” the employee said. The BMS employee said the treatment Lucha received pushed him “over the edge.”
Tim Blosser, a BMS administrator, declined to comment. A phone call to the company’s headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas, was not returned on Friday.
Oroville police stopped Lucha at 2:31 a.m. Jan. 20 and warned him about his driving, Oroville police Lt. Allen Byers said. Police did not issue a citation and the reason for the stop was not recorded.
Byers said Lucha was driving a Chrysler registered in New Mexico, but he could not confirm the vehicle’s model type.
On the night of the Yuba-Sutter chase, Lucha was driving a Chrysler Town & County minivan rented from Enterprise Rent-A-Car by his employer, Yuba City police spokeswoman Shawna Pavey said.
The employee said during Lucha’s final weeks on the job, his behavior changed. He became withdrawn and was described as “quiet and depressed.”
Lucha spoke about his struggles with drug addiction and concerns that methamphetamine was too easy to obtain around the Oroville motel housing the work crew.
Lucha was convicted in 1996 and 1997 on drug-related offenses when he was 18 and 19 years old, respectively. However, he apparently cleaned up his life enough to receive full pardons from the Ohio governor’s office in 2006, according to records kept by the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
About a month before he disappeared, Lucha admitted relapsing on methamphetamine and said he was gambling frequently at both Butte County casinos, the employee said.
Little said Lucha left behind a wife, but had no children.
Another instant trial and execution by California Law Enforcement, seems to be about 2 a day now… they did not confirm a gun or the robberies but he is dead anyhow…. #PoliceState
So they aren’t even sure if he fired at the cops or not? Why did he get shot at so many times? How many times was he hit? Cops are getting trigger happy