A Sheriff's deputy shot and killed a former Bakersfield NFL player over the weekend. A deputy says the man hit him over the head with a bag containing two large cans of beer outside a Fastrip in east Bakersfield. This is the fifth shooting involving law enforcement in a little more than 2 months.
Former NFL player David Lee Turner was shot just before 1 o'clock Saturday morning at a Fastrip on Niles Street. The Sheriff's Department says the investigation is ongoing, but the family wants answers.
"He was an excellent running back, something that I admired for because number one, if you ask me, he put Bakersfield on the map pertaining to athletes being able to perform coming from a small town like this," said brother Moses Turner, Jr.
Once known for his athletic accomplishments, Turner's name is now in the news for a different reason.
Deputies say they got a call that a dozen kids were asking adults to buy alcohol and cigarettes for them. When two deputies arrived, they say they stopped 56-year-old Turner who was leaving the Fastrip with alcohol.
"Mr. Turner at some point decided not to cooperate with the investigation and he attempted to walk away from the deputies," said Commander Kevin Zimmerman with the Kern County Sheriff's Department.
Deputies say when they tried to stop Turner again, he got violent and allegedly hit deputy Aaron Nadal in the back of the head with a bag of beer cans.
At that point, the second deputy discharged his duty weapon and fired at Mr. Turner and Mr. Turner ultimately died later.
Investigators say deputy Wesley Kraft, a 4-year veteran of the department, shot turner twice but witness Phyllis Elijah tells a different story.
"He was unarmed. All he had was some grocery bags and he didn't do anything," said Elijah.
Turner's 19-year-old son witnessed the shooting and is still traumatized by what happened. Now the family wants to see if the store surveillance video sheds light on the truth.
"People are getting killed by the police and then they get away and get paid, leave and come right back and everything is always justified. I don't think this is a justifiable situation," said sister-in-law Ernestine Martin.
Deputy Kraft has been placed on paid administrative leave while the department investigates the shooting. Turner was taken to Kern Medical Center after the shooting, where he died a short time later.