Suspect killed during domestic violence attack in Cottonwood – Charges not expected against woman who fired fatal shot

COTTONWOOD, Calif., — Authorities say a domestic violence related incident led to the fatal shooting of a Cottonwood man Sunday, August 7.

According to officials, the woman alleged to have fatally shot the man suffered “severe” injuries at the hands of her attacker and was being “physically and mentally abused” by the man who ended up dead as the result of a violent struggle over a firearm the man had been threatening to kill her with.

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Deputies with the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to the 15000 block of Gas Point Road in Cottonwood around 9:45 p.m. after receiving reports of a shooting that had just occurred, Shasta County Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit Detective-Sergeant Ken Koenen has since reported.

Official radio traffic at the time indicated the 911 caller told emergency dispatchers that she and her boyfriend had been struggling over a handgun when he was shot in the face. The caller also advised she was hiding from the man in a barn and had lost consciousness for an unknown amount of time after being hit with a frying pan and other objects, including the handgun and a large flashlight.

When deputies arrived at the scene, they located an adult male inside the residence with an apparent gunshot wound, Koenen described; adding the man, Nicolas Hebein, had already succumbed to his gunshot wound and was declared deceased at the scene.

Deputies also found a woman at the scene who had suffered “severe” injuries as a result of the deadly encounter, as well as other significant injuries including abrasions, bruises, and cuts that Koenen said were the result of “ongoing physical abuse”.

The name of the woman, believed to be in her 20s, will not be released due to her status as a domestic violence victim, according to Koenen.

Based on the circumstances, detectives with the Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit responded to the scene and assumed the investigation.

During their subsequent investigation, Major crimes Unit detectives learned the domestic violence victim was continuously being physically and mentally abused by Hebein in the days leading to Sunday evening’s deadly incident, according to Koenen, who went on to say that as Sunday’s fatal encounter spun out of control and Hebein made repeated “threats to kill the victim while brandishing a firearm at her”, the victim “struggled with Hebein for control of a firearm” at which time he was fatally shot.

As their investigation continued, detectives determined Hebein was prohibited from possessing firearms due to his past
criminal history, according to Koenen, who said, “Additionally, Hebein’s firearm was a home assembled, un-serialized firearm, commonly referred to as a ‘ghost gun’.”

The victim has since been released from the hospital and has been cooperative with the Sheriff’s investigation, which is active and ongoing. She has not been arrested and no arrest in the case is immediately expected, pending the final results of the investigation and review of the case by the Shasta County District Attorney’s Office.

The Major Crimes Unit has asked that anyone with additional information regarding this investigation to contact the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit at (530) 245-6135 or by email at [email protected]. Callers can refer to incident file number 22S023645 and can remain anonymous.

Contact the writer: [email protected]

Trevor Montgomery, 51, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and operates Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS). Both are stringer organizations, providing breaking news coverage and community interest stories for other mainstream media organizations throughout the two regions they serve.

Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

In 2022, Trevor added published author to his accomplishments, after he co-authored “A Veteran’s Story – Courage and Honor”. The book, which became a national bestseller in multiple categories, is available for purchase on Amazon.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.