How David Moncado Zamora was declared both dead and alive

Homicide News

Last week 17 News spoke to the family of 48-year-old David Moncado Zamora, a Bakersfield father of three who was shot on N street on Oct. 9. First responders rushed him to Kern Medical, where he was pronounced dead the following Tuesday. At this time he was declared dead, he was still breathing using ventilators. The hospital said he was alive. A piece of state law explains how this conundrum came about.

California’s Uniform Determination of Death Act states someone is legally considered dead when their brainstem no longer works. That’s why coroners said Zamora was dead even though ventilators were keeping him breathing. He was rendered unable to breathe and pump blood on his own, and doctors didn’t think he could recover. Thus, he was declared dead on Tuesday Oct. 13 at 6:53 p.m.

Hospitals, on the other hand, usually call patients “dead” when they have been taken off life support. That’s why Kern Medical told 17 News he was alive on Oct. 14, after the Kern County Coroner’s Office declared him dead. Now, the confusion has ended in tragedy. This afternoon, Kern Medical told 17 News Zamora is deceased. They did not tell us when the hospital removed his life support. Zamora was Kern County’s 106th homicide victim this year. His family members say they’re going to keep fighting until they find his killer.

“We can’t say how much he’s loved,” said Brittany Diaz, one of Zamora’s nieces. “106 means nothing to us. He’s one to us. We’re here for him.”

The Bakersfield Police Department is investigating Zamora’s death as a homicide. They don’t have any information about a motive or a gunman. If you know anything about this shooting, you are urged to call Bakersfield Police at 327-7111.

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