NewsCovering Kern County

Actions

DA discussed criminal record of suspect involved in K-9 shooting

K-9 officer shot and killed
Posted at 3:18 PM, Apr 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-30 11:15:56-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The man who was shot and killed by police Tuesday during an incident that also left a police K-9 dead was identified by the Coroner's Office as Dalton James Gerrit Kooiman, 20, of Bakersfield.

According to Kern County Superior Court records, Kooiman had prior arrests on firearm-related charges.

“He has not been legally able to possess a firearm since august 25th of 2020," said Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer.

K-9 officer shot and killed

Crime

UPDATE: Coroner identifies man involved in incident that left police K-9 dead

Veronica Morley, 23ABC
11:25 PM, Apr 27, 2021

In August, Zimmer says Kooiman brandished a shotgun at his girlfriend in a domestic situation. He pled guilty for brandishing a firearm, was sentenced to 180 days in jail, and was forbidden from possessing a firearm for 10 years.

He was also issued a restraining order which prevented him from owning a firearm. Fast forward to about three weeks ago, he was again arrested for carrying a concealed weapon and sent to jail. But he posted $25,000 bail on April 19. But he was still on summary probation.

“But it’s not the type of probation where the probation officer is going to come out every month or two months and search your home or your person," Zimmer said.

That’s the kind of probation you get when you’re convicted of a felony. But Koiiman was convicted of a misdemeanor. Which basically means he only had to consent to a search if he was stopped by law enforcement.

However, according to court records, Kooiman had originally been charged with a felony and a misdemeanor in July. But due to him taking a plea deal, the felony charge of assault with a firearm was dismissed, and Kooiman was only sentenced on the misdemeanor charge of exhibiting a firearm.

“It doesn’t surprise me at all that there was escalation resulting in what happened the other night," Zimmer said.

Zimmer says it’s challenging enforcing illegal firearm possession because law enforcement can't follow people around 24/7. And there are a number of ways that guns can get into the wrong hands. For example, she says a big reason guns are prevalent on the streets is because criminals steal them from privates residences.

“Sometimes people do rehabilitate and follow the terms of their probation and don't get in trouble anymore, but a lot of times people don’t," she said.