BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — One man is dead and another is in custody after a deadly officer-involved shooting in south Bakersfield Wednesday morning. Police say a man led officers on a chase before the shooting, meantime many key questions remain unanswered.
Bakersfield Police officers say they tried to pull over an SUV just before 12:30 am Wednesday near South High School on Planz Road near South H Street.
“That vehicle failed to yield, led officers on a very short vehicle pursuit, which terminated when the vehicle appeared to lose control and crashed into a pole at Planz Park,” said Sgt. Robert Pair of the Bakersfield Police Dept.
Police say they arrested the driver, Ismael Gardea, 28. But another man ran out of the car and Officer Brock Peterson chased him down. That’s when BPD says the man started shooting at officers.
“The officer discharged his firearm, fatally striking the adult male,” said Sgt. Pair. “A firearm was recovered from the adult male.”
Pastor Jesse Rodriguez of Victory Outreach and his wife woke up to the sound of gunfire.
“So I was wondering, if they’re shooting, I hope no stray bullets come this way,” said Rodriguez. “It’s a scary thing, happening so close to home.”
Rodriguez says Planz Park is so violent none of his family members walk outside past their driveway.
“I’ve been hearing too many people getting killed, getting shot at,” said Rodriguez. “You can’t even walk out in the streets.
“So I told my wife, ‘If you want to walk, go to the mall.'”
17 News data shows there have been at least four deadly officer-involved shootings in Kern so far this year. Last year, there were eight in total.
Ismael Gardea was booked into the Kern County jail, charged with evading police officers and driving without a license. No word yet on why police tried to pull him over. BPD says Officer Peterson was wearing a body camera during the shooting, and the department will release the video at a later time. The gunman’s name has not been released.