District attorney does not file charges in shooting case; man released from jail
On behalf of Bloem, King said, “(Bloem) is very grateful that no harm came to his family during the incident but regrets this senseless tragedy occurred and that a life was lost.”
King also said Bloem expresses his gratitude to his supporters, many of whom are active and retired correctional officers, including his father, Kevin.
Tuesday, May 8 — Based on the facts and evidence, Lassen County District Attorney Bob Burns said he is not convinced, at this time, a crime occurred and he will not be filing charges and has authorized the release of Darrick Gene Bloem, 23, of Susanville, from jail.
Burns made the announcement in a press release issued Tuesday, May 8. He also said the Susanville Police Department (SPD) is continuing to investigate the case.
Bloem was arrested after an investigation into the alleged shooting death of Jason Theodore Hamel, 36, of Susanville that occurred in the early morning of Saturday, May 5.
After Bloem was arrested and in custody, Burns said he was entitled to arraignment within two court days of his arrest.
“For arraignment to occur, charges must be filed beforehand. For charges to be filed, the district attorney must be persuaded by the evidence a crime was committed. If I, as district attorney, am not persuaded that a crime was committed, or there is not enough information to make that determination, charges should not be filed,” Burns said.
He explained that on Monday May 7, the SPD presented the district attorney’s office with an in custody report detailing the circumstances surrounding the shooting death.
According to a press release from the SPD, at approximately 1:35 a.m. Saturday May 5, officers responded to a residence in the 500 block of Wildwood Way in Susanville on a report of shots fired. Upon arrival, officers located an unresponsive man in the entryway of the residence suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to the torso. The victim was identified as Hamel and he was initially transported to Banner Lassen Medical Center via ambulance and was subsequently airlifted to Renown Medical Center in Reno, Nev. Hamel ultimately succumbed to his injuries and died that morning.
According to Burns, facts and evidence support that Bloem and Hamel had a verbal exchange on Friday evening at Diamond Mountain Casino. Ultimately, Hamel was ejected from the Casino by security staff. Bloem and his wife returned to their home.
Some hours later, in the early morning of Saturday May 5, Hamel came to Bloem’s home where he was with his wife, their six-month-old child and Bloem's father.
According to interviews, when Hamel came to Bloem’s home, he announced his presence and Bloem answered the door.
After the door was opened, a struggle ensued in the entryway of the home. Bloem reported Hamel allegedly grabbed him by the throat and began choking him. Marks on Bloem's neck are consistent with the report.
Burns said that during the struggle, Bloem, who had armed himself prior to answering the door, allegedly fired at least one shot that struck Hamel.
Witnesses report Hamel, shortly before he left to go to Bloem’s home, allegedly made a statement, which could only be characterized as a threat towards Bloem.
According to Burns, Hamel allegedly had a criminal history, which included two separate convictions stemming from two separate events on two separate victims out of Nevada for battery with serious bodily injury and appears to have served at least one term in Nevada State Prison. Moreover, Burns said the district attorney’s office is in possession of a SPD report from 2010 wherein Hamel allegedly caused a disturbance, which resulted in a physical altercation in someone else’s home where he was a momentary guest.
Burns said Bloem has no criminal history and has recently returned from serving a tour of duty as a member of the United States military in Afghanistan.
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