Stolen vehicle investigation ends in officer-involved shooting at Visalia Mall

VISALIA, California - A stolen vehicle investigation ended in an officer-involved shooting Thursday afternoon at the Visalia Mall.

It started when officers were tipped off that a stolen vehicle suspect was at the mall, says Visalia Police Chief Jason Salazar.

Based off of surveillance video, they spotted the car in a parking lot.

Officers arrived and approached the suspect near the stolen vehicle. Salazar says the suspect got in the car, acting as if he had a gun.

Police cars were used to block the suspect from leaving, asking him to exit the car, but the suspect motioned as if he was going to run over the officers, Salazar says.

That's when several officers fired multiple rounds, striking the suspect, Salazar says. The suspect continued to drive for a short time in the parking lot, colliding into parked cars.

Officers then open fired once again at the suspect as he circled back around to the area.

Salazar says the suspect is a 36-year-old man, and he was found with a gun. He was transported to a local hospital for his injuries and has not been identified.

Salazar says the suspect did not fire any shots at officers.

The Tulare County Sheriff's Office will be conducting the criminal investigation, and the Visalia Police Department will conduct an administrative investigation.

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