Who actually had the rifle? Action News investigates Dylan Noble case

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Action News is digging deeper into the call that started the chain of events leading to police shooting and killing Dylan Noble. (KFSN)

Action News is digging deeper into the call that started the chain of events leading to police shooting and killing Dylan Noble. We have uncovered new information from the investigation into the deadly showdown between police and the unarmed teenager.

Police shot and killed Noble back in June, right after hearing a report of a man, armed with a rifle, walking nearby. But Noble did not have a rifle when officers pulled him over.

Minutes before the shooting that has gotten national attention, a 911 call put officers on alert. Police were looking for a man armed with a rifle and when they encountered Noble, they pulled out their own guns quickly, one of them while still driving. But after they shot and killed Noble, they did not find any rifle. ABC30 legal analyst Tony Capozzi says, as far as the investigation is concerned, it doesn't matter.

"Whether or not he was actually the person with the gun is really no consequence," he said. "In the mind of the police officer is the fact that somebody had a gun, so that's true no matter what the actual facts are."

What they did find, according to a search warrant served at the scene was a Bug-A-Salt brand salt gun, a plastic device used to kill insects. Yet investigators still believe it was Noble with the rifle.

In another search warrant Action News dug up, police say three witnesses described the armed man as having a camouflage Boonie hat and khakis. Police body camera video shows Noble wearing khakis, and he had a camouflage Boonie in his truck.

One of those witnesses was the original 911 caller. A couple weeks after the shooting, she told police she thought Dylan Noble looked like the same person she saw with the rifle.

"Is it possible that Dylan Noble was that person?" an Action News reporter asked Stuart Chandler, an attorney representing Noble's mother in a civil claim against the city of Fresno.

"No," Chandler said.

The second warrant also dug into Noble's Facebook page where they found a photo of him with a rifle.

"It's an invasion of privacy, it's unrelated, it's irrelevant, it has nothing to do with what happened in this traffic stop," Chandler said.

He says it is a case of the best defense being a good offense.

"And this is the most offensive offense that I could imagine, that they would try to smear him for things he posted on Facebook five years before?" Chandler said.

Investigators pointed to some of Noble's Facebook posts from 2011 in which he expressed suicidal thoughts. But Chandler says the teen's life had been on the upswing since then. And while he seriously doubts the officers will ever face criminal charges, he says police are using the criminal process to get the information he could stop them from getting during a civil lawsuit. We asked police chief Jerry Dyer about that.

"It is very common for criminal investigators to obtain information on an individual's Facebook through the use of a warrant," he said.

His investigators believe Noble intentionally confronted the officers so they'd kill him, and they believe Facebook might prove it.
Related Topics:
newsofficer involved shootingshootingteenfresno police departmentfresnoFresno
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