Gay Man Killed by Calif. Police After Bath Salts-Induced Rampage
California police killed a gay man after he "went on a naked, drug-fueled rampage" with his partner last weekend after taking a combination of bath salts, CBS News reported.
The incident began around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday when, Jeremiah Moore, 29, and his partner Jason Jessie, 28, went on a drug-fueled rampage in Vallejo, Calif., which is about 30 miles north of San Francisco.
Police received a number of phone calls from neighbors complaining that two naked men were running around the street and allegedly breaking the windows of parked cars. When police arrived, Jessie ran inside the couple’s home and soon after, Moore came out of the house, which was filling up with smoke, and was holding a rifle.
The Vallejo Times-Herald reports that Vallejo police Lt. Lee Horton said police shot Moore after he stuck a rifle in an officer’s stomach and that he later died at the hospital. A neighbor told the newspaper that she heard someone yell, "Put the gun down!" several times before police shot the young man.
The men reportedly set their home on fire, which ruined about 40 percent of the house. Firefighters were able to put out the flames, according to Vallejo Fire Battalion Chief Ray Jackson, but there is an estimated $60,000 worth of damage.
Investigators say that the two men were under the influence of the hallucinogens commonly known as bath salts. During the authorities’ investigation, officials discovered that Moore and Jessie cut the heads off three pet birds. Lt. Sid DeJesus the incident looked like "a ritualistic type of event" and that "it was an extremely bizarre situation."
Jessie, who was uninjured, was arrested on suspicion of battery on a police officer and obstructing an officer. He is currently in Solano County Jail on a $10,000 bail. Additionally, no officers were hurt in the incident. DeJesus said that Jessie was "still hallucinating as of 8 a.m." the next day so he could not be questioned.
Moore’s family members are still confused and in a state of disbelief about the very strange incident.
"I’m still in shock," Lisa Moore, Jeremiah’s mother, told the Times-Herald. "I never thought something like this would ever happen to us." She also told the publication that her son, a pipe fitter, had Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism, but was not a drug addict or a violent person.
"He was happy," she said. "He had done well for himself." She added that he moved in the rental home with Jessie more than a year ago.
"They were very stable young men," Ron Nicholson, a friend of the couple, told the Times-Herald. "It’s very upsetting."
Moore’s mother also said that Jessie collected antique guns.
"I’m upset that this is going to be his legacy, what people are going to remember him for," she said. "He was not like this."
"We’ve raised him as best as we could," Jeremiah’s father, Eugene Moore, said.
The couple’s landlord, Courtney Thomas, also told the newspaper that the men were "great tenants."
Bath salts is the street name for a family of designer drugs that often make individuals hallucinate. The drug contains substituted cathinones, which have effects similar to cocaine. The drug’s white crystals look like legal bathing salts and are even called "bath salts" on its packaging. The drug, however, has chemically nothing to do with legal bath salts.
Baths salts made national headlines after reports showed that calls to poison centers concerning bath salts rose from 304 in 2012 to 6,138 in 2011, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers.