Tulare, CA – Two Tulare police officers were injured during an altercation with a combative man that ended in a fatal shooting on Monday afternoon (video below).
Much of the latter portion of the altercation was recorded in a cellphone video by a passenger in a nearby vehicle.
The incident began at approximately 4:30 p.m., when officers received a report that a man had assaulted a bus driver at a school bus parking and storage area, Tulare Police Department (TPD) Sergeant Jon Hamlin told the Visalia Times Delta.
Police responded to the area, and spotted a man who matched the suspect’s description near the Tulare First Baptist Church.
Officers attempted to speak with the unnamed suspect, but he was noncompliant and ultimately became combative.
“There was a struggle at one point in time where the officer advised over the air they had deployed their Taser, but they were ineffective,” Sgt. Hamlin said. “There was a short foot pursuit after that and another time where the suspect became combative.”
The video showed the suspect running from an officer, who followed closely behind as the pair made their way to a street corner.
The man then squared off with the officer, and swung at him with several punches, which appeared to strike the officer in the head.
Following the attack, the altercation spilled into the street, and the officer deployed a baton as another officer ran up to the scene to assist him.
The man continued across the street, and the assisting officer sprayed him with pepper spray as the first officer swung his baton towards the suspect.
In the video, the man appeared to dodge the blow before he yanked the baton away from the officer.
“Oh, he took it away from him!” a witness said in the video. “He took it away!”
Suddenly, multiple shots rang out, and the suspect collapsed to the ground.
The officers began tending to the man on the ground, while the individuals in the vehicle with the person who recorded the video drove by and accosted them.
“F**king murderers!” one heckler yelled. “You guys are f**king murderers!”
“Yeah, you just lost your job!” another man said.
“Wait for backup, man!” one man suggested. “You didn’t have to shoot him!”
“You’re going to jail, man! You’re a killer!” another voice proclaimed.
The suspect was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead, KFSN reported.
Police said it was unknown if the man was armed before he armed himself with the officer’s baton.
At this time it’s unclear whether one or both officers at the scene shot the suspect.
“I know our 911 system was so overloaded, they were having to hang up on people because they had so many calls about our officers in a fight with this guy,” Sgt. Hamlin said.
Both officers sustained non-life threatening injuries, he said. They have been placed on administrative leave, as per protocol, KFSN reported.
Watch cellphone footage of the incident in the video below: