Report: Tehachapi police officer says man he shot and killed fired first

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TEHACHAPI, Calif. (KGET) — A 21-year-old man shot dead by a Tehachapi police officer opened fire at the officer first, according to the officer’s statement in a court document.

During a chase Tuesday evening, a vehicle driven by convicted felon and documented gang member Juan Antonio Sillas collided head-on with a police cruiser, according to a search warrant. Sillas got out of the vehicle and began running away as he reached for his waistband. 

When the suspect turned away, the warrant says, the officer reported hearing the sound of a round being chambered. Sillas quickly turned back to the officer, who reported seeing a flash and hearing a gunshot, according to the warrant. 

The officer then fired at Sillas, who was struck twice and died. 

Police recovered a handgun on the ground near Sillas’ body, according to the warrant. They also located a spent casing the same caliber as Sillas’ handgun but different from the officer’s gun. 

The shooting occurred at about 9:40 p.m. in the 21600 block of Westwood Boulevard. The officer’s name has not been released. 

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