It was a busy night for law enforcement in the Bakersfield area last night. Two separate incidents ended with an officer opening fire within about an hour. The Bakersfield Police Department and the Kern County Sheriff’s Office used their firearms to stop two suspects. The first shooting happened just before 7:30 near the intersection of White Lane and South Real Road. The police department was called for reports of a home invasion in the area.
“Officers responded within minutes,” said Robert Pair, a sergeant with the Bakersfield Police Department. “They heard sounds of an altercation inside the residence, attempted to force entry.”
That’s when the caller met officers in front of the home, telling them the intruder ran away through the back door. Officers chased the man down and quickly caught up to him.
“At some point officers noticed he was armed with a firearm,” said Sgt. Pair. “Officers discharged their firearms at the subject, striking him at least one time.”
Officers found the suspect’s gun at the scene and rushed him to the hospital, where he’s expected to make a full recovery. Authorities describe his injuries as minor. Officers were wearing body cameras and say they’ll release video later in the investigation. The shooting left neighbors scared and confused.
“I just drove by and felt I needed to stop,” said Tom Davis, a Bakersfield resident.
“I realized that the road was taped off right here at South Real. The whole complex, cops all the way down the street and into the field.”
A second officer-involved shooting happened an hour later, this time near the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and Sequoia Drive in Oildale. A single deputy was called to the area for a report of a suspicious person at around 8:40.
“When he arrived he made contact with a male subject in the area who was armed,” said Jeff Harbour, a Lieutenant with the Kern County Sheriff’s Office. “A foot pursuit ensued and then an officer-involved shooting occurred.”
Authorities say 27-year-old Daniel Reyes died at the scene just before 9 o’clock. The sheriff’s office has not revealed what kind of weapon Reyes was carrying or how many shots the deputy fired. Later the sheriff’s office brought over a dozen deputies to investigate. The deputy involved with the shooting was wearing a body camera but no video has been released yet. Some neighbors didn’t seem surprised by the shooting.
“Yeah this isn’t a safe neighborhood, I wouldn’t live in this alley,” said Frankey Caskey, who lives nearby. “When I was coming home from the church I was coming in and I asked the cop, ‘hey can you let me in?’ And he said, ‘No I can’t let you in.’”
No law enforcement officers were hurt in either of the two shootings. These incidents show a disturbing trend in Kern County. The county sees some of the nation’s highest rates of officer-involved shootings. There have been 19 such incidents this year, and the county saw a record 23 similar shootings in 2015.