CHP officer fatally shoots car thief suspect

FRESNO – A California Highway Patrol officer shot and killed a man Thursday morning after the suspect allegedly started a fight with the officer.

The Fresno County Sheriff’s Department received reports of a stolen truck around 8 a.m. Thursday. A dump truck had been stolen as it was warming up at the Fresno Truck Center at 2727 E. Central Ave. The owner of the truck was able to help officers track it down thanks to an installed GPS system.

A CHP officer discovered the truck on a dirt road in a citrus grove at Clovis and Malaga avenues. The suspect was not inside the vehicle.

As the officer approached the truck, the suspect appeared from the orchard and began to fight the officer.

“During the fight, the officer was injured. It continued for several seconds at which time the officer drew his handgun and shot the suspect,” said sheriff’s spokesperson Chris Curtice. “The result was that the subject died at the scene.”

The unidentified officer, a seven-year veteran of the CHP, was placed on paid administrative leave, according to the CHP. The sheriff’s department will be conducting the investigation.

The suspect has not yet been identified.

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