A man arrested last week in connection with an officer-involved shooting in Dos Palos was identified by authorities on Tuesday as Jose A. Puente, a 21-year-old man who has been arrested more than half a dozen times during the last three years.
Puente’s identity was confirmed Tuesday morning by Dos Palos Police Chief Barry Mann.
A Dos Palos police officer, whose name has not been released, fired two shots just before 9 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 1 at a home in the 1900 block of Center Avenue.
Police were called to the home a short time earlier after receiving a report of a man, later identified as Puente, who was “cutting on himself,” Mann said in a telephone interview.
Puente came to the door when the officer knocked but went back into the home. The officer saw the Puente come back to the door a second time and said Puente left the door slightly ajar, Mann said.
The officer pushed the door open wider and called into the home. When Puente came back toward the threshold he was holding a knife and what was later determined to be a replica firearm. Words were exchanged, Mann said, and Puente brought the replica gun “up in a threatening manner.”
“He moved toward the officer and brought it to a shooting position and that’s when the officer fired,” Mann said.
Two shots were fired, but there were no injuries.
Mann said after the shots were fired, Puente lowered the weapons into “non-threatening positions” and the officer eventually convinced Puente to put the weapons down and surrender.
The police chief said he stands by the officer’s decision to open fire and said he was “impressed” with the officer’s ability to “deescalate the situation after the shots were fired.”
Mann said the officer was placed on paid “wellness time” after the shooting but has since returned to work. Mann said he’s working closely the officer’s union representatives to determine when the officer’s name would be released to the public. Mann said the officer has been with the Dos Palos Police Department for nearly 20 years.
Puente was booked into the Merced County Jail on suspicion of resisting an executive officer, a felony, and misdemeanor counts of exhibiting or brandishing a weapon. He remained in custody Tuesday with bail set at more than $20,000.
Rob Parsons: 209-385-2482