The name of an armed man who died after he fired a gun and a SWAT team shot him is being verified, the Kings County Sheriff’s Department said Monday.
The incident occurred shortly after 5 p.m. Sunday.
The drama began about 11 a.m. Sunday when a farmer saw a man in a Ford Bronco parked on a canal bank in the area of 7th and Kansas avenues, just east of Highway 43 and halfway between Hanford and Corcoran, Assistant Sheriff Robert Thayer said.
The farmer told a farmworker to check on the situation, and he went to the canal bank and saw that the man had two rifles in the SUV and was making statements that caused him to fear for his safety, Thayer said.
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The sheriff’s department was called about 3:30 p.m., and after deputies arrived the SWAT team was called out.
SWAT team members saw him holding a rifle with a scope, Thayer said.
They remained behind an armored truck and were waiting for a negotiator to arrive when “a round was fired by the driver of the vehicle,” Thayer said.
Some of the SWAT team members opened fire, he said. The driver died at the scene.
Investigators are determining if he shot himself, fired at officers or fired elsewhere, Thayer said.
Officers found two high caliber hunting rifles in the SUV. It’s unknown why the man, who appeared to be in his 60s or older, opened fire.
An autopsy was conducted Monday, and investigators are in the process of confirming his name by checking fingerprints against a state database. When identification is certain, family will be notified.
The officers who opened fire have been put on administrative leave. Both the sheriff’s department and the District Attorney’s Office are investigating the incident.