He was one of seven officers that fired on parolee pointing a weapon, police say
Taft Midway Driller and Ridgecrest Daily Independent staff reports
A Taft Police officer was one of seven officers who fired on and killed a suspect in Ridgecrest Thursday morning, Taft Chief of Police Ed Whiting confirmed on Friday.
"Currently all I can confirm is that one of our officers was involved in the shooting. I'm not going to release his name at this point," Whiting said.
The seven officers were working a parolee and probation sweep.
According to Ridgecrest Police Capt. Jed McLaughlin, at about 11:57 a.m. on Thursday, officers received a 9-1-1 call regarding a person who was brandishing a firearm in the 500 block of S. Sunset Street.
Ridgecrest was hosting a street interdiction team operation in the area that involved different Kern County law enforcement agencies. One of the SIT teams was in the area and responded to the call.
McLaughlin said that the suspect brandished a firearm at officers and fled on foot into another residential area before climbing onto the roof of a West Haloid Street home.
RPD, Kern County Probation and, Taft Police officers and other law enforcement agencies closed off the surrounding streets to form a perimeter and contained the subject.
Sometime later, police said, officers opened fire on Junior after he pointed a firearm at the them from his vantage point on the roof.
Police said 41 shots were fired by the seven officers
McLaughlin said that the subject was on the roof, brandishing and pointing his weapon at officers, who then fired at the subject. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The suspect was Oscar Junior, 45. According to a press release from the Ridgecrest Police Department, Junior was on active parole with the California Department of Corrections and was not supposed to be in the Ridgecrest area. He also had an extensive criminal history including numerous felony convictions for firearm related violations. He was reportedly from the Los Angeles area.
No officers or residents were injured in the incident.
“We do have witnesses, so we are currently in the process of interviewing them,” McLaughlin said.
The Kern County District Attorney’s office will assume the investigation.
The Taft officer was working as part of a Street Interdiction Team made up of law enforcement officers from several Kern County law enforcement agencies.
It is part of the Community Partnership Connection funded through AB109, Whiting said
The chief said standard reviews will be conducted
The officer will be placed on paid administrative leave while shooting is investigated by the Kern County District Attorney.
Taft Police will also conduct a use of force review.
"Those are standard," Whiting said