Man dead after police chase, officer involved shooting on Hwy 198

Woodlake PD gets into an officer involved shooting after several law enforcement agencies pursue a domestic violence suspect in a car chase

EXETER – Woodlake police officers pursued a suspect in a police chase after the suspect fled a domestic violence scene just an hour earlier.

On Dec. 17 at 10:44 a.m., the Tulare County Sheriff Office received a domestic violence call involving a firearm. The call came from a home located in Ivanhoe, Calif., where the victim on the other line stated her boyfriend had choked her and held a gun to her head. The call resulted in a police chase that ultimately led to an officer involved shooting on Highway 198 and Road 196.

The Tulare County Sheriff Office received the domestic violence call. After the call was made, the victim’s boyfriend had fled to a red GMC Envoy that was parked outside their residence, but the victim told dispatch she was afraid to leave in fear her boyfriend would chase her.

When a deputy responded to the scene just six minutes after the call was made, the suspect quickly fled towards the area of Road 156 and Avenue 328 in Ivanhoe, where the deputy lost sight of the vehicle due to the dense fog. A “be on the lookout” call was dispatched to all surrounding law enforcement agencies, noting the suspect was armed and dangerous. 

At 11:30 a.m. officers from the Woodlake Police Department observed the suspect’s vehicle was traveling northeast on Millwood Drive near Avenue 332, just on the outskirts of the city of Woodlake. An enforcement stop was attempted, but the suspect did not pull over, so the officers pursued the suspect in a police chase. 

The officers pursued the suspect until reaching the inner city of Woodlake, where the chase was terminated for public safety reasons. Officers observed that the vehicle was headed east, leaving city limits, where the units were able to once again engage in the pursuit, which continued towards Highway 198, but the suspect collided with a vehicle on the intersection of Highway 198 and Road 196, right in front of the Red Barn. However, no officers or bystanders were injured during the accident. 

The suspect’s vehicle was approached by Woodlake officers, who gave numerous commands to the suspect, but he failed to comply. Due to his failure to comply peacefully, there was an officer-involved shooting, where the suspect was struck by gunfire. Woodlake PD was not able to comment on the situation further due to the ongoing investigation.

Officers began providing life-saving measures to the suspect, and also called for emergency medical assistance. However, when the medical personnel arrived on scene and rendered aid, they determined the suspect was deceased. 

The Tulare County Sheriff’s Officewere called to the scene to conduct an independent investigation of the incident. All investigations are ongoing, anyone with information is encouraged to contact the investigating agencies.

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