Grover Beach man was making fuel bomb when he was shot, report says

A Grover Beach man was making a fuel bomb and was on drugs before he was shot by a police officer Sunday night, according to a District Attorney’s Office report disclosed Thursday.

The Grover Beach Police Department also disclosed the names of the two officers who have been on paid administrative leave pending the completion of a further investigation.

They are Mike Hollis, a senior officer who has been with the department for more than nine years, and Stephen Ball, who has been with the agency for more than four years.

At 6:43 p.m. Sunday, police received a report of a person acting suspiciously at 142 N. 10th St., the home of 49-year-old Randal Clay Corvey, according to an affidavit by the county District Attorney’s Office.

Hollis arrived first and found Corvey in his backyard wearing a gunbelt containing what appeared to be a handgun, talking to himself and acting agitated and erratic, according to the affidavit.

After Ball arrived, the pair tried to talk to Corvey over a fence surrounding the yard, but were ignored, according to the investigation.

About that time, Ball said he saw Corvey inserting a cloth into a bottle that appeared to contain a clear liquid to make a homemade bomb commonly called a Molotov cocktail, according to the affidavit.

Hollis and Ball entered the yard through a side gate and tried to talk to Corvey, who unexpectedly ran toward Hollis while holding the bottle with the clear liquid. They collided, fell to the ground and a struggle ensued, according to the investigation.

Hollis was able to restrain Corvey’s left wrist, but his other hand was underneath his body, where officers had previously seen the gun, the affidavit states.

Corvey was able to grab the barrel of Hollis’ gun and began pulling on it, according to the affidavit.At that point, Ball became involved in the struggle, investigators found. Both officers said they were splashed with the clear liquid in the bottle, which had a strong odor of gasoline.

Hollis said he thought Corvey was going to take the gun away and use it to kill him and Ball, according to the affidavit.

“Officer Hollis stated that he was in fear for his life and the safety of officer Ball,” according to the affidavit. “Officer Hollis fired his handgun and the bullet struck the back of the suspect’s head, resulting in a grazing wound.”

Hollis suffered a fracture in his hand. Ball had cuts and abrasions on his hand. The gun in Corvey’s holster was a BB gun, according to the report.

A search of Corvey’s home uncovered eight throwing stars — a small bladed and pointed weapon designed to be thrown — in Corvey’s home.

Corvey’s and the officers’ injuries were not life threatening. They were treated at Arroyo Grande Community Hospital.

A blood test found that Corvey was under the influence of amphetamines, methamphetamine and THC, the main mind-altering substance in marijuana.

Corvey was later arrested and booked into County Jail, where he remains in lieu of $100,000 bail. His arraignment is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. today in San Luis Obispo Superior Court.

He faces the following charges:

Grover Beach Police Chief Jim Copsey said a staffing shortage of police officers is typically filled with overtime or adjustments in other officers’ schedules. The department has 18 sworn officers, plus one position that is vacant.