The man fatally shot by a Porterville police officer on Christmas Eve was identified Monday as 23-year-old Omar Ventura. Porterville police also provided more details on what led up to the shooting.
Police said they received a 911 call from a resident in the 200 block of North Larson Street around 4:30 p.m. The victim said Ventura, a gang member, had assaulted her and his own mother.
As an officer was speaking with one of the victims, Ventura returned and began shouting profanities and approaching them with a knife.
Officer Jennifer Rutledge repeatedly ordered Ventura to drop the knife. Ventura refused and advanced toward a victim, who hid behind a trash can in the front yard. That’s when Rutledge fired twice, with both shots striking Ventura, police said. He died later at Sierra View District Hospital.
The Tulare County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the shooting. Porterville police said they are conducting their own internal investigation. Rutledge, who’s been with the department for three years, has been placed on paid administrative leave as is routinely done in such shootings.