Kern County deputies cleared in Oildale shooting

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) Two Kern County deputies who shot a man after a chase - and after he allegedly pointed a gun at one of them - were cleared of any wrongdoing.

The sheriff's office said Friday that all shots fired March 26 by Deputies Aaron Warmerdam and Jeffrey Kelley were within department policy.

Christopher McDaniel, 41, was killed after leading deputies on a four-minute pursuit and then pointing a handgun at Warmerdam, according to the sheriff's office.

A deputy tried conducting a traffic stop on McDaniel around 10 p.m. that night near Beardsley Avenue in Oildale. The sheriff's office said McDaniel was riding a Honda motorcycle, later found to be stolen, at a high rate of speed in a residential area.

When McDaniel failed to stop, more deputies joined the chase.

McDaniel "drove with wanton disregard for the public" by speeding, failing to observe stop signs or traffic lights, and driving the motorcycle on sidewalks, the sheriff's office said.

Deputies briefly lost sight of McDaniel before he crashed in the intersection of South Plymouth and Beardsley.

Deputies Warmerdam and Kelley encountered McDaniel after his crash.

McDaniel was running towards Warmerdam, who pulled out his baton, the sheriff's office said. Kelley, a K-9 handler, deployed his dog partner Luke.

McDaniel then pulled a handgun from his waistband and pointed it at Warmerdam, who was about 5 feet away, the sheriff's office said. That, according to the sheriff's office, prompted the deputies to shoot three times each at McDaniel.