A man who was fatally shot by a Placer County Sheriff's deputy last week at the Palisades Tahoe ski resort has been identified, and we're now learning more about the circumstances that led to the shooting.
There aren't a lot of shootings, let alone officer-involved shootings, in the Tahoe environs. But news arrived Friday of an officer-involved shooting at Palisades Tahoe in which one person was left dead.
As the Chronicle reported Saturday, a California State Parks peace officer spotted a vehicle that was wanted in connection with a carjacking that occurred earlier in Tahoe City. The offficer attempted a traffic stop in Tahoe City around 9:30 a.m. Friday, but the vehicle, a white pickup truck belonging to the Palisades Tahoe resort, failed to stop. This led to a chase by sheriff's deputies down State Highway 28 and onto 89, in which a passenger apparently jumped out of the moving truck, and the driver was driving erratically, at times into oncoming traffic.
The truck, which was emblazoned with the Palisades Tahoe logo, ultimately crashed near the Olympic Village Inn, having returned to the ski resort area.
The suspect, 29-year-old Vinton Miller of Jamaica, allegedly got out of the truck holding a knife, and he was fatally shot by one of the deputies.
Palisades Tahoe later confirmed that Miller was employed at the resort, and was on a work visa.
"Our hearts go out to [Miller's] family and friends during this challenging time,” a Palisades Tahoe spokesperson said Saturday.
It's not clear whether the alleged carjacking took place at the resort — and, as an employee, if Miller was not supposed to be using the resort's vehicles.
As Bay Area News Group reports, the sheriff's office has said it will continue to release information as the investigation continues.
It's still only January, and it's been a dramatic ski season at Palisades already. Just three weeks ago, the resort saw two avalanches in two days — rarities in a normal year, and clustered so close together this was cause for alarm. One person died in the first avalanche, which occurred on January 10.
Some have speculated that early season rains created a "weak layer" beneath the snowpack that led to some uniquely avalanche-prone conditions.
Photo: Lucas Souza