UPDATE (9:46 a.m.): Two men were arrested in connection with yesterday’s officer-involved shooting.
The Bakersfield Police Department said 29-year-old Wasco resident Jorge Retamoza-Martinez was arrested on suspicion of grand theft, possessing stolen property, possessing burglary tools, conspiracy, being a felon in possession of a loaded firearm and ammunition as well as resisting arrest.
Bakersfield resident Jose Alberto Perez Jr., 32, was arrested on suspicion of the same offenses as well as for evading police.
BPD said two loaded handguns, a loaded shotgun, burglary tools and four catalytic converters were located inside the vehicle that was involved in the pursuit.
Both men have lengthy criminal records.
Perez was charged in April with assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm and pleaded no contest in 2020 to recklessly evading a peace officer, records show. He also has multiple misdemeanor cases.
Retamoza-Martinez was charged in December with possession of drugs for sale and resisting arrest, according to court records. He pleaded no contest in 2018 to charges of taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent, recklessly evading a peace officer and driving under the influence and was sentenced to four years in prison.
In 2017, Retamoza-Martinez pleaded no contest to possession of a stolen vehicle for a three-year prison term, records show, and in 2016 he pleaded no contest to possession of a stolen vehicle and got 90 days in jail.
He pleaded no contest in 2015 to receiving known stolen property, records show. He received a 1-year jail term in 2010 after pleading guilty to drug possession and being a gang member carrying a loaded gun in public.
UPDATE (6/25): The Kern County Sheriff’s Office has identified the man killed in the officer-involved shooting as 30-year-old Abraham Torres Meza.
Meza pleaded no contest in 2009 to recklessly discharging a firearm and was sentenced to 90 days in jail, according to court records.
In 2008, he pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of possession or manufacture of a dangerous weapon and was sentenced to time served and three years’ probation.
UPDATE (6/24): Southbound Highway 99 at Houghton Road is now back open, according to the CHP.
All southbound lanes on SR99 are now OPEN! Drive safe.— CHP Bakersfield (@BakersfieldChp) June 24, 2021
UPDATE (8 a.m.): A man was killed in an officer-involved shooting on southbound Highway 99 at Houghton Road.
The Bakersfield Police Department said at around 4:21 a.m., officers attempted to stop a red Chevrolet Avalanche in the area of Bradley and Freemont streets. The vehicle refused to stop and led officers on a pursuit that ended up on Highway 99.
Just prior to the Houghton Road exit, BPD said the driver of the Avalanche lost control and crashed the vehicle. Three men exited the truck and attempted to run away. The department said one of the men who was in possession of a shotgun ran onto the southbound Highway 99 lanes, at which point he was confronted by an officer.
BPD said an officer-involved shooting took place and the man was pronounced dead at the scene. One of the other men who attempted to flee is in custody but the third man is at large, the department said.
Southbound Hwy. 99 traffic will continue to be impacted for the next two hours, according to BPD.
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — All southbound lanes of Highway 99 are closed at Houghton Road and traffic is being diverted at Taft Highway due to police activity, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Traffic is backed up and the department is urging motorists to avoid the area. Drivers can take an alternate route by going southbound on Union Avenue to southbound Hwy. 99 or using Interstate 5 to get to the 99.
It is uncertain at this time why officers are in the area. This article will be updated once more information becomes available.