Probation officer shoots at man during search; Two arrested

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Kern County Probation Officers went to a residence located in the 200 block of San Lucas Street, Mcfarland, Monday at about 5:20 p.m. to conduct a compliance check on probationer 24-year-old Stephen Espinoza, who they believed was in possession of a shotgun. 

As the probation officers approached the residence, they saw another probationer, 23-year-old Jesse Sanchez, run into the front door of the house after observing them. 

Sanchez tripped and fell inside the doorway and appeared to remove an object from his waistband as he shut the door behind him.  Sanchez was subsequently apprehended in the back yard of the residence while trying to flee from the officers by climbing over a fence.

The probation officers entered the residence and began a search for Stephen Espinoza, who was discovered hiding in the closet of the northwest bedroom. 

When a Probation Officer ordered Espinoza to show his hands, he refused to comply and turned toward the officer who believed Espinoza was armed with a firearm. 

The Probation Officer fired one round toward Espinoza.  He was not injured.  Eventually, Espinoza surrendered and was taken into custody.

Officers conducted a search of the residence and located a loaded .22 caliber semi-automatic handgun and a loaded 12-gauge shotgun with a pistol grip, as well as ballistic body armor.

Jesse Sanchez was arrested and booked at the Kern County Jail for resisting arrest and a probation violation.

Stephen Espinoza was arrested and booked at the Kern County Jail for possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of ammunition, felon in possession of body armor, and resisting arrest.

Both Espinoza and Sanchez are on Post-Release Community Supervision following felony convictions and the passage of Assembly Bill 109.

READ | Low-level crime still rising as the state fights to stall release of more inmates:

The officer involved shooting was investigated by the Kern County Sheriff’s Office.  The Probation Officer was placed on routine administrative leave pending a review of the incident by the Shooting Review Board.

Print this article Back to Top