Friends say shooter likely 'wanted to die'

Posted at: 10/28/2013 7:21 PM
By: Ryan Luby, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Longtime friends of Christopher Chase said he likely gave up on life and wanted to die when he shot at officers on Saturday.

The woman and man, who live in a North Valley home, did not want to be identified. 

The woman said Chase would jokingly identify her as his mother for several years.  She said his biological family disowned him as a teenager and denied him an inheritance after his parents died.

“They turned their back on him,” the woman said.  “He was very lovable, very respectable to me and my family.”

The woman admitted that it’s easy to label Chase as a bad man, but said she never viewed him that way.

“He was a nice guy, that’s why I don’t understand why he did what he did,” she said.  “I don’t think Chris really wanted to kill anybody.  He just – he just wanted to die himself.”

Officers said Chase shot four officers on Saturday with an AK-47 while driving a stolen police car.

The 4 On Your Side team found that Chase was accused of embezzling more than $2,500 of money orders from his employer, the company that owns Giant convenience stores, in December 2004.  Court records show that he entered a no contest plea on a conspiracy to embezzle charge, served 18 months of probation, and was ordered to pay restitution in monthly installments through August 2019.

A spokesperson for Western Refining, which owns Giant, said Chase only made one restitution payment in 2009 for less than one-percent of what he owed.

The same court records confirmed that Chase had seven tattoos in early 2005 – including a tattoo that read “cop killer.”

The woman who knew Chase said that his old friends dared him to get the tattoo even though he did not, at the time, have a problem with law enforcement.

She said she and her family feel awful about what Chase is accused of doing.

The woman said it’s unclear where Chase’s family lives nowadays, but said they likely haven’t had contact with him in years.