The morning after a Half Moon Bay woman was shot and killed in a confrontation with San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office deputies, the 800 block of Main Street was relatively quiet. But neighbors and witnesses remained rattled by the violent death of 56-year-old Sandra Lee Harmon.
Early Wednesday morning, Gary Bergman was walking on the sidewalk near Pasta Moon, trying to piece together what had transpired the night before. He lives nearby and said he stayed in the house as he heard bullets flying.
“I live on the second floor, so I was trying to look out and figure out what it was,” he said. He walked around the corner and pointed to two bullet holes in the fence separating the Italian restaurant from the senior housing at the Half Moon Bay Village next door.
Another resident, who lives in the senior housing complex, was also out that morning trying to get more details about what happened. His pickup truck was shot at and shattered glass lay on the ground in his parking spot. Leon Kunke said that before the shooting started, he thought about getting in his car but instead opted to stay home.
“As soon as I went into my apartment, I heard shots. I heard pops,” he said. “Then the Sheriff’s came and cornered off the entire area.”
He said today he plans to get his truck fixed and is trying to take the day to relax from the events last night.
At around 7:25 p.m. on Tuesday, Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the 800 block of Main Street, near the new Pasta Moon location. The report indicated a caucasian woman was carrying a gun and alcohol.
Local business owner Janice Moody said she was weeding outside her plant shop Tuesday evening when she saw a woman walk by. Moody said the woman said, “Be careful tonight there is going to be a race war.”
The woman reportedly was carrying a rifle and a bottle of wine, according to Moody, who said she called 911.
“It is just a sad state of affairs,” she said.
When deputies arrived, they reportedly gave the woman — identified by the San Mateo County Coroner’s Office as 56-year-old Half Moon Bay resident Sandra Lee Harmon — multiple verbal commands to drop her weapon. According to the Sheriff’s Office, the woman did not comply and instead fired at the deputies. Deputies returned fire, hitting the woman an undisclosed number of times.
Aid was administered at the scene and the woman was transported to a hospital where she later died from her injuries.
The Sheriff’s Office did not state whether any deputy was injured during the confrontation.
Sheriff’s Office deputies have used deadly force in a standoff in Half Moon Bay before. In 2014, deputies killed an armed 18-year-old woman who suffered from mental illness. San Mateo County’s district attorney found that the deputy’s actions in that case were justifiable despite the claims of excessive force.