Sonoma State police chief could face criminal charges

The police chief at Sonoma State University fired his gun during a fight with his stepson and may have stabbed him multiple times in the chest with a power drill at his home in unincorporated Hayward on Monday night, an Alameda County sheriff’s sergeant said Tuesday.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to the home in the 3300 block of Costa Drive on reports of shots fired at about 10:30 p.m., sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly said.

Nathan Johnson, Sonoma State University’s chief of police, was found suffering injuries to his face and head. His stepson, identified as 20-year-old Elijah Latimer, was found outside of the home with stab wounds that appeared to be inflicted with a power drill, Kelly said.

UPDATE 6/1 Sonoma State top cop placed on leave.

Johnson had fired a warning shot into a wall with his off-duty gun in an effort to stop Latimer’s assault, according to Kelly.

Kelly did not say how Latimer had been stabbed, but said that both men gave conflicting accounts of what happened and that neither wanted to pursue a criminal complaint. Another resident of the home was uncooperative with the investigation, Kelly said.

Both men were taken to a hospital to be treated for their injuries. They were not arrested, but could face criminal charges once the sheriff’s office forwards its investigation to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, Kelly said.

Johnson has been the chief of police at Sonoma State University since 1999, according to the university. He was named the CSU system’s chief law enforcement officer in 2010 and served in that position for three years before returning to being chief of police for Sonoma State.

Neither university officials nor Johnson immediately returned calls for comment.