NewsCovering Kern County


Sunday marks five years since deadly officer-involved shooting

Posted at 1:12 AM, Sep 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-17 04:12:35-04

Sunday marked five years since a deadly officer-involved shooting in Southwest Bakersfield outside a local hotel.

Jorge Ramirez, Jr. was working as an informant for the Bakersfield Police Department after his family says he had brushes with the law. Ramirez was working to get information on wanted felon Justin Harger.

He met with Harger on September 16, 2013 at the Four Points Sheraton hotel on California Avenue. Harger was then involved in a shootout with BPD officers, and both Ramirez and Harger were struck and killed by gunfire.

The officers in the shooting were eventually cleared and returned to duty, but it was later discovered that disgraced officers Patrick Mara and Damacio Diaz were involved in making Ramirez an informant in the first place.

After Mara and Diaz' involvement were revealed, the Ramirez family and others demanded investigation into cases they handled.

Ramirez' family gathered at Greenlawn Mortuary Southwest on Sunday to honor his life. "It hurts like it was yesterday still, it's a very painful and emotional day for us," said his father Jorge Ramirez, Sr.

"It hurts me to see his picture on that stone," he said.

Jorge, Sr. has worked to raise awareness about his son's death ever since. "I share his story and it makes me feel like I'm doing something for him," he said.

The Ramirez family recently took a settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit against the city.