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At 7:10 p.m. last evening the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a man who had armed himself with several knives and was threatening to kill himself. As Sheriff’s Deputies arrived at the residence on the 1800 block of Peninsula Drive in Manila, they were able to determine that there were three individuals inside the residence. The three individuals were the man with the knives, later identified as Justin William Thurlby, 23 of Manila, and two of his relatives, all adults. Sheriff’s Emergency Communications Dispatchers now had additional information that Thurlby was threatening to kill a woman in the house and himself. Inside the residence deputies could hear yelling and the sound of glass breaking. The Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Team (which includes a team of trained negotiators) was activated, and officers from Eureka Police Department and the California Highway Patrol arrived to assist.
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Believing lives were in imminent danger, Sgt. Diana Freese entered the home and saw Thurlby holding a knife in each hand while making threats toward the other two occupants of the home. Sgt. Freese, ordered Thurlby at gunpoint to drop the knives but he would not. Sgt. Freese told the other two people in the room to leave, while Thurlby continued to yell threats at them. Sgt. Freese was able get the others out of the house and to safety. As Sgt. Freese backed out of the room, Thurlby slammed the door and locked himself inside the house.
At about 7:50 p.m. Thurlby opened the front door of the house and stepped out. Officers saw that he was holding something in his left hand and Thurlby was ordered several times to put his hands high in the air. As Officers and Deputies approached him slowly they continued to give him instructions to put his hands up; he failed to comply. An officer deployed his Taser and Thurlby was restrained in handcuffs. A search of Thurlby revealed that he was in possession of four knives when he exited the house.
Thurlby was transported to a local medical facility where he was treated for minor lacerations to his hands. After his medical caretaker deems it appropriate, Thurlby will be booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on charges that will include Assault with a Deadly Weapon and Making Threats with the Intent to Terrorize.