Crime

Officer-involved shooting behind busy event venue leaves one dead

Deputies with the Madera County Sheriff’s Department investigate at the scene of an officer-involved shooting behind the Branch and Vine Event Venue on Avenue 12 near Highway 41 on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
Deputies with the Madera County Sheriff’s Department investigate at the scene of an officer-involved shooting behind the Branch and Vine Event Venue on Avenue 12 near Highway 41 on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017. apanoo@fresnobee.com

A police shooting in Madera County on Sunday afternoon left one man dead and two others in custody, said Madera County Sheriff Jay Varney.

The man, described only as Hispanic and wearing all black, was shot by a California Highway Patrol officer after a search through orchards and fields near Highway 41 and Avenue 12, Varney said.

The shooting happened just behind the Branch and Vine Event Venue where a party with about 100 people was taking place. Amid heavy law enforcement presence, the party continued Sunday evening.

Varney said things began earlier in the day at Highway 41 and Avenue 15, where three men carjacked a white sedan, one of them brandishing a gun in the process.

But Varney said only the man who was later killed got in the car and drove away. The other two men fled on foot and were detained by citizens and turned over to the sheriff’s office.

Around 2:30 p.m. a sheriff’s deputy noticed the stolen car crashed into the side of the road at Highway 41 and Avenue 12. He also noticed a man who was covered in dirt and alternating walking and running west. Varney said the man was evading authorities by running into the orchards.

During what Varney called a lengthy search, a CHP officer feared for his life and shot the man, Varney said.

The Madera County Sheriff’s Office is taking over the investigation. A gun has not yet been recovered, Varney said.

Staff reporter Larry Valenzuela contributed to this report. Ashleigh Panoo: 559-441-6010, @AshleighPan

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