Central Valley

Fresno driver killed by CHP officers was unarmed, authorities say

A man who was shot and killed by two California Highway Patrol officers following a car chase early Thursday was unarmed, investigators have said.

The shooting happened at 1:40 a.m. next to Ericson Elementary School at Weldon and Chestnut avenues in east Fresno.

Because the location is in the city, the Fresno Police Department and the Fresno County District Attorney's Office will investigate the shooting, said police spokesman Jeff Cardinale.

Cardinale said the incident began when a woman driving home from work called 911 on her cell phone to report her ex-boyfriend was trying to force her car off the road.

Police officers were dispatched as the woman tried to evade the man, while relaying her location and direction of travel to a dispatcher, Cardinale said.

CHP spokesman Paul Solorzano Jr. said two CHP officers in one marked patrol car who were in the area joined the pursuit after hearing the police broadcast.

The CHP officers pulled over the car on Chestnut Avenue. As the officers approached the car, the driver got out of the car, Solorzano said. Cardinale said the man charged toward the officers, yelling and refusing to obey their commands. The man's movements made officers believe he was armed and was getting ready to attack.

Both CHP officers fired and shot the man in the upper body. The officers provided first aid, Cardinale said. The man was taken by ambulance to Community Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead shortly after 2 a.m.

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