Bonta launches probe into Fresno officer-involved shooting

Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama welcomed the investigation and revealed further information about the shooting.

The California Department of Justice has initiated an investigation into an officer involved shooting that occurred in Fresno last Saturday. 

California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced the investigation on Monday. 


The big picture: The officer involved shooting resulted in the death of one individual that followed a vehicle pursuit by the Fresno Police Department. 

  • In Bonta’s announcement, the Department of Justice said preliminary investigation indicates that the suspect was not in possession of a deadly weapon at the time of the shooting. 
  • The California Department  of Justice’s Special Prosecutions Section within the Criminal Law Division will conduct an independent review of the investigation once it wraps up. 

State of play: Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama released further information about Saturday’s incident following the DOJ’s announcement that the suspect was not in possession of a firearm. 

  • According to Balderrama, the suspect fired a gun at officers, resulting in a Fresno police officer being shot in the chest. The police officer was wearing a bullet-proof vest. 
  • One of the police vehicles took multiple bullet strikes. 
  • Police found two firearms in or near the suspect’s vehicle, which also contained freshly spent casings. 

What they’re saying: Balderrama said the department welcomes, supports and trusts the DOJ’s investigation and noted that the Fresno Police Department and the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office are also conducting investigations of their own. 

  • In just over one month’s time we’ve had two Central Valley police officers shot by gang members who, according to California law, should not have been in possession of a firearm,” Balderrama said. “Police officers willingly place their lives in danger to protect our community every day and will continue to do so. While I am always saddened by the loss of life, I am very thankful the City of Fresno did not lose an officer in the line of duty while protecting our community.”
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