“The alleged actions of these suspects injured innocent citizens and endangered many lives. Investigating any officer-involved shooting is a lengthy process, and we appreciate local and state agencies working together following this dangerous chain of events, so there is a clear understanding of what took place when, which will assist with any charges filed.” – CSLEA President Alan Barcelona
EUREKA - On April 18, 2023, at 2:49 p.m., officers with the Eureka Police Department (EPD) responded to a report of an armed robbery at the Bayshore Mall in which a man, 33, reported he had been robbed at gunpoint and assaulted. The victim described the suspects and their vehicle, a red ford pick-up.
Approximately 10 minutes later, EPD received a report of a pedestrian hit and run. The victim, a 34-year-old male, sustained major injuries. The suspects of the hit and run were later confirmed to be the same suspects involved in the earlier armed robbery.
At 3:14 p.m., a Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputy observed the suspect vehicle, a red 2004 Ford F250. The deputy attempted a felony traffic stop on the vehicle. The vehicle failed to yield, and a pursuit ensued.
Approximately two minutes later, the fleeing suspect vehicle was involved in a traffic collision with a civilian vehicle. Following this collision, the suspects in the Ford are believed to have fired at the marked Sheriff’s vehicle, striking it at least once.
At about this time, an unmarked Sheriff’s Office pick-up truck occupied by an HCSO sergeant and one deputy arrived. Both of these officers fired their service weapons at the suspects. An additional HCSO marked vehicle arrived and pulled alongside the HCSO marked truck. This deputy also fired his service weapon at the suspects. Both suspects sustained multiple gunshot wounds. The suspects were taken into custody on scene and deputies rendered first aid while waiting for Emergency Medical Services. No deputies were injured.
During this incident, there were two additional individuals inside the suspect vehicle, a 37-year-old female and a 2-year-old boy. Both sustained minor collision-related injuries and were transported to a local hospital for treatment.
The civilian vehicle involved in the traffic collision contained three occupants. The driver, a 42-year-old male, sustained moderate collision-related injuries. The passenger, a 27-year-old female, sustained major collision-related injuries. A 2-year-old passenger of the vehicle was not injured. The three were transported to a local hospital for medical evaluation and treatment.
The suspects have been identified as brothers, Jesse Widmark, 18, and Brandon Widmark, 27. Both suspects were transported to a hospital in critical condition. The Widmarks were last known to be residing in Northern Mendocino County but have family ties to Humboldt County. At the time of this incident, the brothers were wanted by the Arcata Police Department in connection to a robbery on April 14 in the Valley West area.
While processing the scene, investigators located three weapons associated with the suspects: one Winchester Model 70 Bolt Action 270 Rifle, one Marlin Model 60 .22 Caliber Long Rifle and one Sigsauer M17 Airsoft Handgun.
A total of four HCSO deputies were involved in this incident, three are believed to have fired their service weapons. All involved deputies have been placed on routine paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal administrative investigation.
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the following agencies for their assistance with this investigation: Eureka Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office, Arcata Police Department, Fortuna Police Department, Rio Dell Police Department and the California Department of Justice.