A man was shot and killed by a Fresno County deputy sheriff early Thursday after a standoff in the Madera County foothills. Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims said the deputy fired two shots after the man pointed a rifle at officers.
A woman is in custody in connection with the incident and deputies from both Madera and Fresno counties were searching for another man in the foothills above Millerton Lake.
The shooting took place after members of an auto theft task force followed a man driving a stolen vehicle from Fresno County into the Madera County foothills about 4 a.m., Mims said. The woman was a passenger.
Mims said the driver turned off Highway 41 and drove east on Highway 145 toward a home on remote, one-lane Road 210. At some point, the driver realized that he was under surveillance and when the two reached the home, they ran inside. Members of the Help Eliminate Auto Theft task force team, which is composed of Fresno County sheriff’s deputies and California Highway Patrol officers, then surrounded the home and ordered those inside to come out.
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Mims, who held a news conference near the scene with Madera County Sheriff Jay Varney, said that was when a man inside the home, who had not been in the stolen vehicle, came to a window. He was armed with a rifle and was shouting at the officers before he pointed the weapon at them. A sheriff’s deputy, also armed with a rifle, fired two shots at the man, who died at the scene.
The officers then took the woman into custody and a Madera County Sheriff’s SWAT team determined that there was no one else inside the home. Another man fled the home and was being hunted by a helicopter, police dogs and state Fish and Wildlife officers.
Because the shooting took place in Madera County, deputies from there will investigate the deadly incident.