UPDATE: Man shot by deputies during manhunt in East Bakersfield last month dies

Crime Watch

UPDATE (Nov. 16, 3:49 p.m.): According to the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, Justin Esqueda has died of his injuries. Esqueda was initially transported from the scene to Kern Medical and then to Community Regional Medical Center, where he later died from his injuries. A postmortem examination will be conducted to confirm the cause and manner of death, according to KCSO.


UPDATE (Oct. 30, 9:35 a.m.): The suspect has been identified as Justin Esqueda, 30, and he was being treated at a hospital, deputies said. He faces six counts of attempted murder of a peace officer, one count of felon in possession of a gun, one count of felon in possession of ammunition and one count of possession of a short-barreled rifle.

Three deputies were involved in the shootings and have been placed on routine administrative leave while an investigation is conducted, sheriff’s officials said. No deputies were injured.

Esqueda has three DUI convictions listed against him on the Kern County Superior Court website, as well as spousal abuse and child cruelty convictions.

Sheriff’s officials said Esqueda fired at a deputy who confronted him on Dartmouth Street, and the deputy returned fire. Esqueda ran west to Nelson Street, where he shot at a sheriff’s helicopter that was coordinating law enforcement on the ground, a sheriff’s release said.

Deputies formed a perimeter around the neighborhood while residents were evacuated. Esqueda was found holding a gun in the backyard of a home on Dartmouth, and law enforcement shot and wounded him.

The person Esqueda is accused of shooting was in stable condition, officials said.

UPDATE (Oct. 28, 5:48 p.m.): A man has been taken into custody in connection with shooting a person on Water Street then opening fire on a sheriff’s helicopter as authorities searched for him, sheriff’s officials said.

During the hour-long manhunt for the suspect, two officer-involved shootings occurred.

The man was taken to a hospital and was listed in critical but stable condition.


At 2:47 p.m., law enforcement were dispatched to a shooting on Water Street, south of Columbus Street, said sheriff’s Lt. Joel Swanson. A person was found suffering major injuries, and deputies swarmed the area to find the shooter.

Just after 3 p.m., the shooter was found and an officer-involved shooting occurred, Swanson said. The man ran into a neighborhood, and roughly 10 minutes later fired at a helicopter that was used to direct deputies to his location.

Deputies found the gunman in a backyard at 3:50 p.m. and another shooting occurred, Swanson said. The gunman went down and was arrested at 3:54 p.m. then taken to a local hospital. The extent of his injuries was unknown.

Bakersfield College said classes scheduled on campus Wednesday evening have been canceled.


BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A large police presence was reported Wednesday afternoon in East Bakersfield. Officers from multiple agencies were reported in the area of Dartmouth Street and Noble Avenue.

A SWAT truck is at the scene, and a helicopter is circling the area. Law enforcement from the Bakersfield Police Department, Kern County Sheriff’s Office and California Highway Patrol are at the scene.

Reports of an officer-involved shooting had not been confirmed as of 3:35 p.m.

Washington Middle and Noble Elementary schools had no children present at the time of the incident and have locked down their facilities. Bakersfield College issued an alert to shelter in place and stay away from the campus due to reports of a man armed with a shotgun.

17 News has a camera crew on scene, and more information will be provided as it becomes available.

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