Bakersfield police name officers involved in gun battle

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) The names of the police officers involved in a gunfight Friday with a suspect were released Wednesday.

Miguel Villaneuva, 29, allegedly shot at officers several times after a brief chase involving the California Highway Patrol.

The Bakersfield Police Department has identified the following officers as those who returned fire: Detective Chris Feola (16 years of experience), Detective Mason Woessner (14 years of experience), Senior Officer Jeff Martin (eight years of experience) and Officer Keith Cason (five years of experience).

Villaneuva was shot to bring a SWAT standoff to an end. He remains hospitalized in critical condition, police said Wednesday.

A CHP officer tried to pull over Villaneuva for allegedly talking on a cellphone while driving. He reportedly took off on a short chase, hit a parked car, then ran into the garage off McDonald Way.

Police Sgt. Joe Grubbs said Friday that, "CHP officers tried to locate the suspect in that garage area, and the suspect fired shots at the CHP officers."

Grubbs said the CHP called for police backup, and they ordered Villaneuva to surrender.

Then, came a second round of gunfire.

"Once officers got there, he also engaged our officers with a firearm," Grubbs said after the incident last week.

Officers said they tried to negotiate with Villaneuva for several hours, even using a robot to make contact, and getting his family to the location. Both the sheriff's and police SWAT teams were at the scene by then.

The final shots were fired at about 7 p.m.

"At some point, the garage door opened where we had a visual of (the suspect), and there were shots exchanged," Grubbs said.

Earlier this week, Grubbs said he could not release the number of shots fired by BPD officers or the suspect.

He was able to report the black Toyota Villaneuva was driving was stolen out of Delano, but Grubbs didn't have any more details.

Villaneuva is on parole in what's called "Post Community Release Supervision," or AB 109. A check of Kern County Court records shows he got a five-year prison sentence in 2006 for a case involving a stolen car and reckless evading a peace officer.

Villaneuva was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder of a police officer, "and additional charges are anticipated," police said.

No officers or neighbors were hurt in the incident.