NewsCovering Kern County


DOCS: Officer says man killed in Tehachapi officer-involved shooting fired first

Posted at 3:54 PM, May 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-23 19:40:52-04

TEHACHAPI, Calif. — A 21-year-old man was killed during an officer-involved shooting in Tehachapi on Tuesday night and according to court documents, an officer claims the suspect fired at them before he was shot.

According to the Tehachapi Police Department, around 9:40 p.m. on May 21, an officer became involved in a vehicle pursuit of a man, identified as Juan Antonio Sillas, who was believed to be armed with a firearm.

The pursuit ended near the intersection of Red Apple Avenue and Westwood Boulevard when Sillas allegedly appeared to intentionally ram his vehicle into the officer's patrol car, according to Tehachapi PD.

According to the documents, Sillas turned back towards the officer, who reported seeing a flash from the suspects hand. This is when the officer returned fire, hitting Sillas twice and killing him.

Documents show that a handgun was recovered on the ground by Sillas's head and officers also located a spent handgun shell casing in the area where his handgun would have discharged. According to officials, the caliber was the same as Sillas's handgun but different from the officer's.

The officer involved has been placed on administrative duties pending the outcome of the investigation.

According to the DA, in the last OIS, both officer's were cleared on the case

23ABC reached out to both the DA and Tehachapi Police who say they do not have a comment on the investigation.