Mother of suspect killed in shooting at Cal Expo speaks out

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Sources have identified Robert Stephen Calderon as the man officials say killed a Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy and a K-9 Monday night.

Calderon was killed in an exchange of gunfire with deputies.

Calderon’s mother, Juanita “Jennie” Calderon, told FOX40 on Tuesday that her son was not a bad man but was caught in a bad situation.

“What happened? What happened? I go, ‘Well, I don’t know what happened,'” she said.

The last time Robert Calderon spoke to his mother was in their shared Sacramento apartment, saying he was going to Home Depot and coming right back.

But when he didn’t come home or pick up his phone, Jennie Calderon knew something was wrong when two officers showed up at her door.

“I go, ‘What did he get himself into? Did he get caught with drugs again?'” she recalled. “And then they told me my son had shot an officer and killed him and that they had killed him.”

Jennie Calderon added that her son’s actions may have been brought on by fear.

“They surrounded him and told him to come out, and if I know my son couldn’t come out, he just couldn’t,” she told FOX40. “And so they broke the back of his vehicle and the dog jumped in and my son is afraid of dogs.”

Calderon’s history and run-ins with law enforcement date back to 1993 when he was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer. His last arrest was in 2016 in Oklahoma, where he admitted to taking PCP before destroying a hotel room.

Lately, his mother said his mental state had also been unusual.

“I do know that in the last week or two, he’d been seeing things, people that come from the wall,” she remembered.

She also suspected in the last few days he had a gun.

“I asked him, ‘Did you get rid of the gun?’ And he said yes. And I said, ‘And you’re not lying to me?’ He said no,” she said.

Jennie Calderon faces eviction and now that her son is no longer there to help her, the future looks uncertain.

“We were close and I loved him very much,” she said.

She said she also sends her condolences to the family of the deputy and the K-9 who were killed.

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