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Suspect who shot and killed 19-year-old claimed self-defense, court records show

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Posted at 6:08 PM, Jan 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-06 21:11:57-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Court records are shedding light onto a shooting that killed a 19-year-old man in Southeast Bakersfield last month.

49-year-old Jose Velasquez has pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree murder and reckless discharge of a firearm after he shot and killed Nicholas Villarreal in the area of Chattahoochee Lane and Missouri Avenue on Dec. 29, 2019.

Velasquez told police he shot Villarreal "as he was approaching him aggressively," according to court records obtained by 23ABC News. He also told police he "feared for his and his family's safety," the court records show.

Police records said that Velasquez and Villarreal were similar in size and "apparent strength." Velasquez told police, according to court records, that his son was also with him and ready to "engage in a physical fight" if the incident escalated.

According to court records, Velasquez told police he was armed "prior to anybody showing up to his house," and after he shot Villareal, he buried the gun in his backyard.

Velasquez is due back in court on Jan. 17 for a preliminary hearing.