Los Banos police finish inquiry into shooting

cpride@losbanosenterprise.comSeptember 8, 2013 

— The Los Banos Police Department announced Tuesday it has completed its investigation into the July shooting death of 17-year-old Bidal Taito, forwarding the findings to the Merced County district attorney's office.

Police said they received on Friday the California Department of Justice report into Taito's shooting.

That report and the findings by the Los Banos department now will be reviewed by the district attorney's office to determine whether the person who killed Taito could face criminal charges. No one has been arrested in connection with the fatal shooting.

Harold Nutt, chief deputy district attorney, said his office has no specific time frame on when a decision will be made whether to file criminal charges "but it will probably be soon."

Nutt said the reports are being reviewed by multiple attorneys in his office. "We frequently have others look at it when it's an unusual case," he said.

Taito died at a Modesto hospital hours after collapsing from a gunshot in an alleyway near the 100 block of West K Street on July 20. Police said they responded to an emergency call from a male resident reporting someone was attempting to kick in his door.

Moments later, he told the dispatcher that he had shot the person and needed help. He shot through his wood door, police said, and Taito was struck in the back.

Law enforcement hasn't identified Taito's shooter, saying only that the person is a relative of a former Los Banos Police Department employee.

The Department of Justice worked with police to re-create the shooting scene.

The district attorney's office and Police Department have been working together on the case. Nutt said it is not unusual for his office to decide whether charges will be filed in a case before an arrest is made.

Last week the Rev. Mychael Williams, who is assisting the Taito family, said relatives and friends of the slain teen are anxiously waiting for a decision to be made.

Taito's loved ones have staged several protests in the seven weeks since the teen's death. Williams said it's a way to keep Taito's death in the public's consciousness.

Williams said anything less than an arrest will be unacceptable for the family. Williams said attorneys have been contacted on the family's behalf and are prepared to seek legal action if no arrest is make.

Police Chief Gary Brizzee could not be reached for comment before press time Tuesday.

Los Banos Enterprise reporter Corey Pride can be reached at (209) 388-6563 or cpride@losbanosenterprise.com.

Merced Sun-Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service