Flagstaff, Ariz.- (April 9, 2019) On April 8, 2019, Flagstaff Police Department Officer Nick Rubey was involved in a confrontation leading to an Officer-Involved Shooting in the 2100 block of E Route 66.
Narrative for Video of Officer Involved Shooting
The first 30 seconds of the video has no sound. Officer Rubey recognized the suspect, Matthew Dearing as someone who he knew had a warrant for his arrest. It was also known to Officer Rubey, Mr. Dearing is known to carry weapons to include a knife and a BB gun. Approximately 3 minutes and 22 seconds into the video Mr. Dearing gets off his bike to explain the problem with his brakes. The handle of a large fixed blade knife can be clearly seen attached to the bike frame underneath the seat. Officer Rubey asks about the BB gun that Mr. Dearing is known to carry. Mr. Dearing indicates he no longer carries that BB gun. Officer Rubey asked Mr. Dearing if he has any other weapons on him besides the knife, which can be clearly seen on the bike. Mr. Dearing says ”just the other knives that I carry”; he fails to tell Officer Rubey he has pepper spray. Mr. Dearing asks why Officer Rubey asked him about weapons. Officer Rubey explains that he likes to know where weapons are when talking to someone. He then tells Mr. Dearing he is under arrest for a warrant and reaches out to take his left arm to place Mr. Dearing under arrest. Mr. Dearing pulls away from Officer Rubey and says, “what for?” Officer Rubey tells him to get on the ground and again that he has a warrant for his arrest. Officer Rubey tells Mr. Dearing ten more times to get on the ground to which he does not comply. He informs Mr. Dearing an additional five times he has a warrant and is under arrest; Mr. Dearing did not submit to being arrested. Officer Rubey initially was able to get Mr. Dearing on the ground and then call for help on his radio indicating that he was in a fight. At this point, Mr. Dearing was able to push back up into a standing position with Officer Rubey still holding onto his left arm. Mr. Dearing gets into a fighting stance and balls up his fist as if to strike Officer Rubey. Mr. Dearing continued to resist and refused to comply, despite Officer Rubey’s repeated requests that he get on the ground. Officer Rubey, while still holding on to Mr. Dearing’s left arm with his left hand was able to pull his OC spray from his belt and warn Mr. Dearing if he did not get on the ground he would be sprayed. Mr. Dearing resisted and refused to comply and was sprayed in the face with OC spray. Officer Rubey gets on his radio and reports he has deployed his OC spray. At this point in the video, at 6 minutes 10 seconds, you can see Mr. Dearing take his right hand and reach to the area of his waist band underneath his jacket. Ofc. Rubey’s actions were guided by the totality of the circumstances in that Mr. Dearing had a valid warrant, that he was displaying resistive behavior, that he is known to carry knives and/or a BB gun and had previous training and knowledge that people often carry weapons in their waist band. Along with Mr. Dearing’s own statement that he has other knives, Officer Rubey believed Mr. Dearing had a knife and he drew his firearm. Officer Rubey sees Mr. Dearing pull an item from his waistband with his right hand. Officer Rubey directs Mr. Dearing to drop the knife. Mr. Dearing responds “I don’t have a knife” as he raises his arm spraying Officer Rubey in the face with pepper spray. Officer Rubey discharges his firearm, striking Mr. Dearing in the neck area. Officer Rubey, again tells Mr. Dearing to drop the knife as Mr. Dearing is laying on the ground. Officer Rubey, despite being sprayed in the face with pepper spray and having limited vision, places Mr. Dearing in hand cuffs and begins to administer first aid by putting pressure on the wound and covering it with a chest seal dressing he carries on his ankle with the assistance of Officer Devries who had arrived on scene. Officer Rubey continued to apply pressure to the wound until medics arrive despite being in pain and having limited vision due to the effects of the pepper spray. A folding knife was located on the right front hip pocket of Mr. Dearing during medical treatment. When interviewed by detectives with the Northern Arizona Shoot Team, Mr. Dearing admitted he normally carries one knife in each of his pockets.