Family Of Man Shot, Killed By Deputy Speaks Out

Sheriff’s deputies shot and killed a man, and now that man’s family and friends said he was mentally ill.

In Oildale, at the home of Adam Hortter, family and friends have set up a memorial. Some of them told 23ABC that the man described by sheriffs is not the man they knew.

It happened Wednesday night as Hortter was walking down Chester Avenue. Deputy Mike Blue tried to stop Hortter, who fit the description of someone attempting to break into cars nearby.

Hortter ignored deputy Blue, who then tried to detain him and a fight ensued.

“At one point the deputy went to the ground and fell to his back and was laying on his back while fighting with the suspect,” said sheriff’s spokesman Ray Pruitt.

Pruitt said another deputy showed up and noticed Hortter had taken deputy Blue’s baton, so the other deputy deployed a Taser on him.

The Taser had no apparent effect, Pruitt said. As Blue got up, Hortter raised the baton towards Blue, who then shot Hortter several times, killing him.

“He was lying on the ground with his face up. It looked like his eyes were open. His hands were cuffed behind his back,” said Ashley Anderson, a friend of Hortter.

Friends and neighbors of Hortter said he was mentally ill and seemed to be off his medication.

“He was jiggling around talking to himself, talking to God mostly,” said neighbor Chris Helton. You could be standing right in front of him trying to have a conversation with him he won’t realize you’re there. He won’t see you there. He’ll see things in his head at the time,” Helton said.

Friends said that is probably what happened to deputy Blue.

“I believe the deputy was trying to stop him and he wasn’t recognizing the deputy until he started beating him with a baton,” said Helton. “He reacted to it and took the baton…he did not understand.”

Lucid or not, friends say, Hortter would never hurt a fly.

“He was non-confrontational. He avoided confrontation. If you told Adam ‘go home,’ he’s bolt and run away,” said Helton.

The sheriff’s office would not comment on the deputy’s use of force. Even though he used a taser first, friends say that he should not have used a gun.

“They need a grand jury investigation. Somebody needs to investigate the sheriff for their heavy-handed actions. How many people have been shot here?” said Helton. “He was a really good guy. I don’t think he deserved that at all.”

News of Hortter’s death has spread throughout his neighborhood like wildfire.

“I’ve been crying since I found out. I just can’t believe it. I’m kind of in shock,” said Wesley Housley, a close friend of Hortter.

Deputy Blue will be placed on administrative leave while the sheriff’s office investigates the shooting.

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