Officer shoots, kills man wielding a knife


visalia – Police are still unsure what caused a knife-wielding man to ignore an officer’s commands to stop last week and ultimately ended with the suspect’s death at a local hospital.

Raymond Hopper, 59, of Visalia was shot and killed by a Visalia police officer on May 3. The officer was responding to a report of domestic disturbance in the 2600 block of E. Delta Street. When the officer arrived, he got out of his patrol car and immediately noticed a man with a knife walk through the front door.

“The suspect exited the home with the knife and walked toward the officer,” said Sgt. Damon Maurice, public information officer with the Visalia Police Department. “He then refused to follow commands to drop the knife given by the officer who ultimately had to use his weapon.”

The bullet struck Hopper in the torso. The officer immediately began CPR and life saving measures until paramedics arrived. Hopper was transported by ambulance to Kaweah Delta Medical Center where he died from his injuries later that morning. The officer was uninjured and placed on paid administrative leave, standard practices for officer involved shooting. Sgt. Maurice said the officer was scheduled to return to work this week, which was also a standard practice of bringing the officer back to work a few days to a week following a shooting.

Sgt. Maurice said the investigation of both the call for service that led up to the confrontation and the ensuing actions taken by the officer are now under investigation by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department.

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