Oildale officer-involved shooting leaves 1 dead

OILDALE, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) Kern County Sheriff's investigators have still not explained why two deputies opened fire on a Oildale man Wednesday night. The man was hit at least once by gunfire and died.

Sheriff's spokesman Ray Pruitt said deputies attempted to pull over a man on a motorcycle for a vehicle code violation.

"The suspect failed to yield, there was a short pursuit here in Oildale," said Pruitt.

The man crashed in the 300 block of Beardsley Avenue. Pruitt said "there was some type of confrontation" and two deputies fired on the man, whose name he withheld.

"He put his hands to the air as he was surrendering, and they shot him three times," said April Headley, who said she witnessed the incident unfold.

Others told a similar story.

"He was off the bike, he had his hands up, and they shot him," said another woman, who did not give her name.

The man was struck at least once and was later pronounced dead at Kern Medical Center. The man was armed with a handgun, which was recovered at the scene, according to the sheriff's office.

Pruitt said the motorcycle had out-of-state plates and was reported as stolen.

Also hit by a bullet was a sheriff's K-9, but the dog is expected to survive. Pruitt could not say who shot the dog, nor could he confirm if the suspect fired any shots at either the dog or at deputies.

The suspect's identity has not yet been released, but his friends said he is a veteran, having served in the Army.

Beardsley was closed for hours during the investigation. The sheriff's office has not said when it expects to issue more information on the investigation.