Crime

One dead in officer-involved shooting in Atwater

Atwater witness describes officer-involved shooting

A man in Atwater explains what he saw and heard during a officer-involved shooting reported by the Merced County Sheriff's Office on Friday, March 30, 2018, in the 2600 block of Atwater Boulevard.
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A man in Atwater explains what he saw and heard during a officer-involved shooting reported by the Merced County Sheriff's Office on Friday, March 30, 2018, in the 2600 block of Atwater Boulevard.

ATWATER - A man armed with a gun was shot and killed Friday afternoon during a confrontation with two Merced County sheriff's deputies and a probation officer inside a house on Atwater Boulevard, authorities confirmed.

The man, whose name has not been released, was shot to death around noon Friday at 2655 Atwater Blvd., Deputy Daryl Allen said.

Allen called Friday's violence "unfortunate" and said the investigation was in its "very, very early stages."

Sheriff Vern Warnke confirmed the man was armed with a gun during the confrontation. Whether he fired the weapon remained under investigation Friday.

No law enforcement officers were injured.

The identities of the probation officer and two sheriff's deputies were not released Friday.

Warnke said authorities were conducting a probation compliance check for someone else, and the man who was shot Friday also was there.

The man shot, Warnke said, did have outstanding warrants. But he could not confirm the details of the warrants.

Moments before gunfire erupted, Allen said, deputies were calling for assistance from all agencies in connection with "a subject that was causing problems for the deputies."

Alex Collins, a witness at the scene, said he saw sheriff's deputies go into the house prior to the violence.

"There was like six kids playing out front and they told all the kids to go around back to the neighbor's house," Collins said.

He said deputies entered the home and ordered multiple people out of the house. He said multiple deputies were inside the home when he heard people yelling "get down."

He then saw two deputies run from area the behind the house to the front with their guns drawn and rush inside.

Collins said he heard more yelling from inside the house and, moments later, gunfire broke out.

"There was about 10 gunshots and then that was it," Collins said.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene.

Probation Chief Jeff Kettering confirmed the probation officer was not injured and said the officer would be placed on administrative leave, a standard procedure in any officer-involved shooting. Kettering referred other questions to the Sheriff's Office, saying deputies were "taking the lead" on media and other public inquiries.

Warnke also confirmed the two deputies involved in the incident would be placed on routine administrative leave.

Sheriff's Office detectives are leading the investigation. Detectives remained on scene late Friday evening.

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