Crime

Man killed by Clovis officers as they served warrant

Clovis police Chief Matt Basgall provides details about shooting by police

Police reportedly were serving a warrant when gunfire broke out near Cole Elementary School.
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Police reportedly were serving a warrant when gunfire broke out near Cole Elementary School.

A man who was shot by Clovis police officers Thursday afternoon as they attempted to serve warrants has died, the police department said.

Police Chief Matt Basgall said the shooting took place about 12:30 p.m. as officers went to a home near Bullard and Helm avenues to serve at least one felony warrant.

Basgall said the suspect attempted to flee in a vehicle with a female companion through an alley. Apparently when confronted by officers, the female got out of the vehicle and was nearly struck by the suspect when he threw the vehicle into reverse.

The suspect then accelerated his vehicle at officers, two of whom fired three rounds at him.

The suspect was taken to Community Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. His identity was not available Thursday afternoon.

Basgall said he believed one of the warrants was for narcotics.

Despite concerns being raised around the country about police shootings, Basgall said “based on everything I’ve been told at this point it sure appears to be justifiable.”

Basgall said the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office would investigate the shooting along with the department’s own investigators.

Both officers have been placed on administrative leave, as is standard protocol.

The shooting happened near Cole Elementary School, where summer school was in session.

Clovis Unified School District spokeswoman Kelly Avants said the school was put into lockdown from roughly around 12:25 p.m. to 12:55 p.m. Clovis Unified police officers were on scene with Clovis police, Avants said.

Officers informed district administrators that Helm Avenue, which is the main access to Cole Elementary from Bullard, was closed down, so buses would need to be rerouted, Avants said. Parents were informed of the lockdown and told that when coming to pick up their children, they would need to approach the school from either the east or west.

The lockdown was resolved before the school day ended at 2 p.m., and there is no school on Friday, Avants said.

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