UPDATE: Mother of Teen Arrested in Fatal Shooting, House Fire 'Accidental'


The scene on Union Street. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • The scene on Union Street.

The Eureka Police Department and Humboldt Bay Fire are reporting that an early morning fire at the Union Street home where a teenager was reportedly shot by his mother last night during a domestic disturbance was “accidental" with EPD stating in a release that it was "unrelated to the manslaughter.”

EPD is not releasing the name of the teen at this time. An autopsy is scheduled for later this week.

A cat and pet mice died in the fire started by "combustibles too close to a floor furnace," which caused $30,000 in damage, according to Humboldt Bay Fire. No one was home at the time.


Eureka Police Chief Steve Watson has confirmed that the mother of the victim in last night’s fatal shooting was arrested. He tweeted this morning, “EPD has a suspect in custody from last night’s shooting homicide — the victim’s mother, Pamela Faye Millsap, age 38. She was arrested and booked on a manslaughter charge. A press release will be forthcoming soon.”

A first report from the scene last night relayed by a dispatcher said that the caller was afraid the son was going to strike his mother. This was followed soon after by the report of a gunshot.

Officers were on the scene quickly where they found the 17 year old with a gunshot wound. Lifesaving efforts were unsuccessful.


The Eureka Police Department tonight is investigating the fatal shooting of a young man after responding to an incident in the 2200 block of Union Street around 7:25 p.m.

Eureka Police Chief Steve Watson tweeted, “I can confirm EPD is investigating an apparent homicide that occurred in a residence on the 2200 block of Union Street around 7:30 PM tonight. Officers were dispatched to a domestic disturbance there. While officers were still en route, a caller reported a shot had been fired.”

He added, “Upon arrival, officers found a severely injured male, around age 17, inside with an apparent gunshot wound. Officers began life-saving efforts and the male was transported to a local hospital where he was later pronounced deceased. No suspects are believed to be outstanding.”

In addition, he tweeted, “This is an active investigation in its preliminary stages. Investigators are on scene and will be working through the night. We will release more information once we know more and can responsibly do so.”

Read the full EPD release below:
On February 18, 2020, at about 7:22 p.m., officers with the Eureka Police Department were dispatched to a residence at the 2200 block of Union Street for the report of a family disturbance. While officers were responding, it was reported that a male had been shot.

Officers arrived on scene and located a 17-year-old male suffering from a gunshot wound. Officers performed lifesaving efforts until Humboldt Bay Fire and City Ambulance arrived. The male was transported by ambulance to the hospital where he ultimately succumbed to his injury.

Based on the investigation, Detectives with the Eureka Police Department have arrested the victim’s mother Pamela Faye Millsap (38 of Eureka) for involuntary manslaughter. Millsap was transported and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility.

An autopsy is scheduled for later this week. The juvenile victim’s name is being withheld at this time. This is an active investigation and additional details will be released as appropriate. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Corrie Watson at (707) 441-4032.

*On February 19, 2020, at about 6:40 a.m., Humboldt Bay Fire responded to a structure fire at the same residence on the 2200 block of Union Street. Based on the initial investigation it appears the fire was accidental and unrelated to the manslaughter.

Read the release from Humboldt Bay Fire:
On 2/19/2020 at 6:39 A.M. Humboldt Bay Fire was dispatched to a reported structure fire at 2200 Union Street. The first arriving units found light smoke coming from the attic and eaves of a single-family residence. Fire crews made entry in to the residence and found a fire in the living room area with heavy smoke throughout rest the structure. Crews simultaneously attacked the fire, ventilated the structure and performed a search to locate any possible victims.

Fire crews were slowed by hoarding conditions and a second alarm was requested for additional manpower. Fire crews had the fire under control within about ten minutes. Nobody was home at the time of the fire, although a family cat and pet mice perished in the incident.
Damage to the residence is estimated to be $30,000.

Humboldt Bay Fire contacted the Eureka Police Department to advise them of the fire as it had been the scene of a law enforcement incident the previous night. The Eureka Police Department had released the scene earlier in the evening and the fire was unrelated to those events. Humboldt Bay Fire investigators determined the fire to be accidental.

It was caused by combustibles too close to a floor furnace.

Humboldt Bay Fire would like to remind people to keep combustibles away from operating heating appliances. There were no injuries to firefighters at the incident.

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