VIDEO: Deputy Repeatedly Head-Stomps Would-Be Cop-Killer After Emptying Magazine Into Him

Video has been released from the fatal use of force when an Orange County Sheriff's deputy took out a would-be cop-killer.

Nov 2, 2017

Orange County, CA - Video has been released which shows a deputy repeatedly head-stomping a suspect after emptying a magazine into him. The force was in response to the suspect attempting to murder another deputy.

The video has just been released as the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the deputy may be sued for using excessive force.

The incident happened in 2013 when Deputy Juan Lopez responded to a domestic disturbance.

Police were called when 21-year-old Connor Zion bit his mother and then started cutting his mother and roommate with a butcher knife.

Immediately upon Deputy Lopez's arrival, Zion charged him and started stabbing him.

Deputy Michael Higgins arrived to find Deputy Lopez on the ground with Zion repeatedly stabbing him.

Neighbor Mike Shackelford spoke with CBS2’s Stacey Butler about what he witnessed.

“The kid came up [from] behind him and hit him,” said Shackelford. “And then [the deputy] went down and he started stabbing him. Then the second officer pulled up and told him to stop. And he wouldn’t.”

Seeing Zion actively attempting to murder another deputy, Deputy Higgins opened fire on Zion, pursuing him while firing nine shots until Zion dropped.

Deputy Higgins then fired his remaining nine rounds until his magazine was empty; Zion was still moving.

Deputy Lopez was down after being repeatedly stabbed. Deputy Higgins was in a position where he needed to ensure that Zion was no longer a threat before providing potentially life-saving first aid to his partner.

Rather than taking the time to handcuff Zion and search him for weapons, Deputy Higgins stomped on his head three times and then ran to provide first aid to his partner.

Zion was pronounced dead.

Deputy Higgins saved the life of Deputy Lopez, and was awarded a medal of valor.

Zion's mother later sued, claiming that the use of force was excessive.

A three-member panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Thursday that while the shots could be determined to be justified, the head-stomping appeared to be excessive. This ruling allows the lawsuit against Deputy Higgins to go forward.

"...terminating a threat doesn't necessarily mean terminating the suspect," Judge Alex Kozinski wrote.

You can see the video of the incident below. Do you think that this use of force was justified? We'd like to hear from you. Please let us know in the comments. WARNING: Graphic content.


Call me crazy, but stabbing people, especially your mom, should be considered excessive force.

Does Deputy Lopez get to sue Zion's estate for excessive stabbing?

Justified. He protected his partner and eliminated the threat.

So typical from a liberal goddamn judges this Deputy did what he had to do to eliminate the threat and if that required stomping his head so be it if you try and take a cop's life then it sucks to be you.

Judges should not be second-guessing the situation from a video. The cop wanted to make sure the suspect would not get back up while trying to save his partner. This is a bad prosecution.

I suppose Zion's Mom didn't think her son stabbing her was excessive? Another payout coming. I have a great least for a start in domestic situations, there should be a disclaimer signed by the "victim" to not sue the officer/city/county/state when the responding LEO's arrive and put their lives on the line to save them from their offender.......It's a beginning anyway...

As a civilian, I believe this deputy did what he had to do. In watching the video you can tell he is doing only what he has to do to stop the threat and get to his partner. He didn’t stand over the guy just repeatedly stomping. He took the time to see if the guy was still a threat. I truly believe the only thought running through his mind was his partners life. End the threat in the most expedishily way possible and help his partner whose very life is pouring out of him. Now five years later she is suing the officer? Sounds like an ambulance chaser got ahold of her. But our courts have told the family members of criminals that it doesn’t matter what your precious loved one has done or is doing, it’s the cops fault. I’m really curious if a LEO is injured by the subject can he/she sue the family? I’m so sick and tired of crappy people being rewarded for such garbage. 🖤💙🖤

These judges on the 9th circuit are a total joke. This isn’t the first time that Judge Kosinski has been one of those noted to have made a pathetic ruling. Deputy Higgins did an outstanding job. Hell, if it was me I probably would have put another clip in and dumped that one into the ass wipe as well.

It looks likehewasbeing shot by a 9mm. That's why he had to stomp on the suspects head. That many shots from a 45 or something a little better, and hewouldnt have to worry about being sued. California I guess.