Bakersfield Police Officer involved in shooting cleared to return to work


An officer that was involved in a shooting at the end of October has been cleared to return to work.

The Bakersfield Police Department Critical Incident Review Board met and reviewed the facts and circumstances surrounding the officer involved shooting that happened on Oct. 30, in the 1300 block of Niles Street.
The Review Board concluded that the shots fired by Officer Keith Cason during the incident were within department policy and within state and federal guidelines.
The Review Board consisted of Assistant Chief Lyle Martin, Captain Joseph Bianco, Captain Hajir Nuriddin, Captain Scott McDonald and Captain Brian Clayton. 
Police Chief Greg Williamson reviewed the investigation and agreed with the board's findings.
Officer Cason has been cleared to return to duty.
On Oct. 30, Officer Cason was in the area of Pacific Street and Miller Street when he observed the suspect, 28-year-old Jonathan Lopez walking eastbound across Miller Street carrying a firearm in his hand.
Fearing for his safety, Officer Cason ordered Lopez to stop. Lopez ignored Officer Cason's commands, which resulted in a foot pursuit.
Officer Cason again commanded Lopez to stop; however, Lopez continued to run and turned toward Officer Cason and fired his weapon at Officer Cason.
Officer Cason retrieved his weapon from his belt and returned fire at Lopez. Lopez continued to run and as Lopez reached the south alley of the 1300 block of Niles Street, Officer Cason again commanded Lopez to stop. 
In an effort to prevent Lopez from continuing to flee, Officer Cason fired his duty weapon again and Lopez stopped fleeing. 
Lopez was taken into custody and transported to a local hospital where he later died. Lopez had an extensive criminal history and was on post release supervision.
Witness information and investigation confirmed Lopez was in possession of a firearm and discarded it after firing it at Officer Cason during the pursuit.
Lopez's firearm was later recovered by officers at the scene after the execution of search warrants. Edna Diaz 43, was arrested for concealing material evidence and Accessory to attempted murder.
Officer Cason has been placed on routine paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
The investigation is continuing.
Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to call the Bakersfield Police Department at 327-7111.


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