CHOWCHILLA -- Authorities say a 45-year-old woman was shot and wounded by police Sunday night after she brandished a fake gun at two officers.
Police haven't released the names of the officers involved in the incident. The woman has been identified as Tina McClure, a resident of the Chowchilla-Fairmead area. She is expected to survive.
Both officers have been placed on paid administrative leave, according to Police Chief Jay Varney. He said that is standard practice in such cases while they are under investigation.
The incident was reported at 7:30 p.m. Police received a call from a woman who was threatening to kill herself. Varney said police believe McClure was the person who placed the call.
Officers responded using the cell phone's coordinates, and witnesses told police a woman was lying on her back in a vacant lot in the 100 block of West Robertson Boulevard, police said.
As officers tried to speak with her, McClure was in a seated position on the ground. Using both hands, police said she held up what appeared to be a handgun.
She pointed the gun at the officers, who ordered her to drop the weapon, according to police. The officers moved away, trying to avoid her aim, but she continued to point the weapon at them, they reported.
The officers then fired at McClure, injuring her. Officers then secured the gun, which they then realized was a toy or replica. McClure was taken to a hospital for treatment of her wounds, Varney said.
Varney said the gun was dark in color and wouldn't be immediately recognizable as a fake to the average person. "If you saw someone holding it, you wouldn't have any idea whether it was real or not, unless you were standing real close," Varney said.
It's the first time since at least 2004 that someone has been injured during an officer-involved shooting in Chowchilla, said Varney, who took over as police chief that year.
In an incident earlier this year, an officer fired his weapon at a suspect, but that person wasn't hit.
The investigation of Sunday's shooting has been turned over to the Madera County Sheriff's Department.
Sun-Star City Editor Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or firstname.lastname@example.org.