Officer mistakenly shoots armed homeowner while chasing burglary suspect in Reedley neighborhood, deputies say

KSEE24 News

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE) – The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office gave an update into an officer-involved shooting Wednesday, where they said a Reedley police officer mistakenly shot an armed homeowner while chasing down a burglary suspect.

On Monday 38-year-old Joaquin Luna of Orange Cove was taken into custody after investigators said a chaotic night of crime ended in the officer-involved shooting.

It started around 2:30 a.m. with a burglary call. Luna allegedly broke into Ace Hardware on Manning.

Police said he jumped off the roof and ran through a neighborhood, hopping fences into yards and climbing on top of houses.

“At one point Luna broke into a house. This commotion caused the sleeping homeowner to wake up. The sleeping homeowner retrieved a firearm and began to investigate the noise,” Lt. Brandon Pursell with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office said.

Pursell said the homeowner went into his backyard with his gun, and that’s when an officer shot him once in the upper leg. Pursell said details of the incident are still being looked at and are not being released.

The sheriff’s office is handling the criminal investigation.

“Their assistance into this investigation is going to allow for a very thorough investigation, along with a very unbiased investigation into actions of my officers,” Reedley Police Chief Joe Garza said.

The officer involved has been with Reedley police for 18 months and in law enforcement for 5 years.

During the update, Pursell stressed Luna’s alleged role in the incident.

“Had he not broken into this Ace Hardware. Had he not ran from the police, had he not broken into this homeowner’s house none of this would have taken place. This is a very tragic set of circumstances that were caused by one person, and that’s Mr. Luna,” he said.

Lt. Pursell said the homeowner is doing well and has been incredibly cooperative in the investigation.

As of Wednesday Luna, was still behind bars for burglary and vandalism charges.

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