A man wanted on domestic violence charges was shot and killed Wednesday morning as officers attempted to arrest him in West Goshen.
Two officers were participating in a multi-agency domestic violence sweep in Tulare County when they attempted to serve an arrest warrant in the 5000 block of Avenue 309 in West Goshen, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department said.
The man ran from officers, who chased him and caught him, the sheriff’s department said. A physical altercation ensued, resulting in the officer-involved shooting.
Sheriff’s officials identified him as Ryan Christopher Rodriguez, 21.
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At a news conference, Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said a male sheriff’s deputy with 13 years of experience went to the front door of the home, while a female Farmersville police officer with three years of experience went to guard the back door.
The man ran out the back door, and the Farmersville officer told him to stop and tried to stop him.
The deputy ran around back, and Rodriguez tried to take the deputy’s gun, Boudreaux said.
The deputy struck him with the gun, he said.
During the struggle, “he’s getting the better of the officers,” Boudreaux said, and both officers opened fire on him.
Both officers were injured and were taken to the hospital with bruises and abrasions, the sheriff said.
“The situation was not created by the officers,” Boudreaux said.
Visalia police are investigating the shooting at the request of the sheriff’s department.
Rodriguez’s mother and grandmother were at home when the shooting occurred and witnessed it, said his aunt, Joanna Ruiz of Visalia.
She said she believes her nephew tried to elude capture because he was certain he’d be sent to prison and “he was scared to leave his baby.”
He was the father of a 1-year-old boy, also named Ryan. He lived with his mother and grandmother in West Goshen, but also lived at his girlfriend’s home in Dinuba, she said.
“He was always wanting to be loving and hugging on you,” she said. “He always had his arms open, even when I was mad at him. I could never be mad at him.”
Her nephew worked in the fields with his girlfriend’s father and once had a job washing dishes, she said. He attended high school in Woodlake.
The two officers were participating in the National Family Violence Apprehension Detail, “a nationwide effort to put domestic violence offenders behind bars,” the sheriff’s department said.
The national effort is a project of authorities in Clackamas County, Oregon.
In Tulare County, 187 warrants involving domestic violence were served Wednesday in an operation that began at 6 a.m., the sheriff’s department said.