Police in the California town of Guadalupe fatally shot an “uninvolved” bystander Saturday night as officers pursued a suspect to serve a felony arrest warrant, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department (SBSD).
A Guadalupe officer fired his service weapon at the wanted suspect “but instead struck an uninvolved resident who was sitting in a vehicle in the 100-block of Obispo Street,” the SBSD said in a news release.
“Tragically, 59-year-old Juan Luis Olvera-Preciado of Guadalupe, was pronounced dead at the scene at approximately 10:13 p.m.”
The SBSD said it’s assisting in the investigation at the request of the Guadalupe police.
The suspect with the felony warrant was arrested at the scene, the news release said. Neither the officers nor the suspect were injured.
The California Department of Justice will investigate the incident in line with a state law that went into effect in July. That law calls for the DOJ to look into officer-involved shootings that result in the death of an unarmed civilian.
Officials are not releasing the identity of the wanted suspect or the officer, as the investigation is ongoing, the SBSD said. Guadalupe Police Chief Michael Cash has met with the victim’s family to offer his condolences, the SBSD said.
Guadalupe is located on California’s central coast and has a population of about 8,000 people.
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