“With the incredible work conducted by dedicated California Department of Justice criminalists, firearms can be scientifically linked, without question, to casings found at crime scenes. This work gives investigators the tools they need to solve cases and prevent violent individuals from further harming others.” – CSLEA President Alan Barcelona
CHICO - On February 22, 2023, Patrick Dowell-Rollins, 33, of Chico, pleaded no contest to multiple charges of assault with a semiautomatic firearm, felon in possession of a firearm, and dissuading witnesses in connection with a November 7, 2022, shooting at a Chico gas station.
Dowell-Rollins was in Butte County Superior Court for a preliminary hearing on his charges when he changed his previously entered plea of not guilty to no contest.
On November 7, 2022, a woman and her husband called 911 to report they had just witnessed a shooting at a Chico gas station where they were filling their car tire with air. When Chico police officers arrived, they found a male victim suffering from a gunshot wound to his left forearm. The victim was uncooperative. Officers retrieved surveillance video from the gas station which showed Dowell-Rollins driving up to a fuel pump and filling the tank. Dowell-Rollins was seen walking away from his car and out of view of the video. The reporting couple said they saw Dowell-Rollins walk up to the victim and they heard a single “pop.” Dowell-Rollins then slowly walked back to his vehicle, placed the gas pump nozzle on the concrete surface and drove off.
Where the couple said the shooting occurred, officers located a single .45 caliber shell casing. Dowell-Rollins remained at large until November 23, 2022, when a Chico Police detective located him walking in the driveway of a local Chico residence. The Chico Police SWAT team was called and detained Dowell-Rollins without incident.
During his detention, Dowell-Rollins was found in possession of a .45 caliber semiautomatic handgun strapped to his chest. The firearm was fully-loaded and was later determined to be stolen. Dowell-Rollins is a felon and was prohibited from possessing a firearm. The firearm located on Dowell-Rollins and the casing located at the scene of the shooting were submitted to the California Department of Justice lab for ballistics testing. The results showed the gas station shell casing was fired from the semiautomatic handgun found on Dowell-Rollins.
Despite the victim being uncooperative, the Butte County District Attorney’s Office was able to file the assault charge in part to the cooperation of the courageous civilian couple at the gas station who provided critical information to law enforcement.
While in custody at the Butte County Jail, Dowell-Rollins made a phone call to an outside associate and told that person to visit the couple and their family in an attempt to discourage them from testifying at his criminal proceedings. A Chico Police detective intercepted the calls and talked with the associate, foiling Dowell-Rollins' plan. Based on this new information, the Butte County District Attorney’s Office filed an added charge of dissuading a witness.
Dowell-Rollins’ criminal history includes two prior felon-in-possession of firearm convictions along with numerous fleeing and resisting arrest convictions. A conviction for an assault with a semiautomatic firearm and dissuading a witness are “strikes” under the laws of California. Dowell-Rollins faces up to 11 years and 8 months in prison.