Police identify victim of fatal shooting
March 25, 2003
The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department has identified Brandon Richard Lowder, 30, as the man who South Lake Tahoe police fatally shot on Sunday after the man reportedly pointed a gun at them.
Lowder was an electrician and tile layer.
Officers responded to his Alameda Avenue home on a domestic violence call at 2:53 p.m. Lowder reportedly raised the gun at officers, which an investigation later determined it to be a replica .45-caliber BB gun.
An autopsy will be conducted today at the Washoe County Coroner’s Office in Reno, which is often used in shooting cases, said an El Dorado County detective involved in the case.
Both officers involved, Sgt. Terry Daniels and Ofc. Brodie Seagrave, have been placed on paid administrative leave.
“This is a routine policy and not a punitive action,” said Tahoe Police Sgt. Les Scott. “We are still in the core part of the investigation.”
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Also, because the fatality happened, there is a policy protocol with outside agencies to help with and monitor the investigation, said Detective Pete Van Arnum of the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department. Also involved in the investigation is the El Dorado County district attorney’s office.
Detectives are investigating the matter and are now focusing on interviewing people who may have information about the incident.
Police dispatch received an anonymous complaint of domestic violence at the residence, which was occupied by Lowder and his girlfriend, Karen Cotz, 34.
According to the reporting party, Lowder and Cotz were heard fighting and items breaking inside the home.
Prior to being given entry by Cotz, officers observed Lowder walking from the front portion of the residence to the rear. He reappeared shortly holding a gun in his hand, Scott said.
The officers drew their weapons and ordered Lowder to drop his gun. Instead, Lowder raised the gun and pointed it at the officers, Scott said. At that point, shots were fired by the officers. The amount of shots fired is still under investigation, Scott said.
Neighbors who lived nearby said they heard between one to six shots fired.
“In these kinds of domestic violence situations, officers respond based on their training and experience, Scott said. “These types of incidents are tragic in every sense of the word. Obviously, our hearts go out to the family (of Lowder) and the young lady, Ms. Cotz.
“We definitely sympathize with all the parties involved, including the officers, who we consider victims of this as well,” Scott said.
The South Lake Tahoe Police Department is asking anyone with additional details regarding the case to contact the police at (530) 542-6100.
Jeff Munson can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org