Killed Dos Palos officer described as great man, despite what court records say

Local News

Friends have identified the killed officer-involved shooting suspect as Dos Palos police officer Kevin Mathis. Details on what lead up to the shooting are still hard to come by, but those who knew Mathis are saying he did his job and he did it well.

The shooting happened at a home near Sydney Lane and Lopes Avenue around 8 p.m. in Merced on Tuesday. The Merced County District Attorney’s Office, the investigating office, didn’t release too much new information Wednesday. However, in a news release, it confirmed the suspect was a Dos Palos police officer on administrative leave.

Also, he died from a single gunshot wound.

On social media, the suspect was quickly identified as Mathis. Stephanie Perry, who worked with Mathis and his wife when they worked at the Merced County Sheriff’s Office, said she and other friends of Mathis’ are just trying to make sense of it.

“We don’t know his mind setting and we don’t know what was taking place with him on a personal level,” said Perry.

Perry didn’t really get to know Mathis on a personal level until after he was sworn-in as a Dos Palos Police officer. She said he went above and beyond for her multiple times, particularly one time when her daughter was acting up.

“He helped her recognize what she had and what most kids don’t have. He went throughout the house, went into her bedroom with her, pointed out the fact she had a tablet, a cell phone, a laptop and a bed,” she said.

A search of Merced County court records show Mathis did spend time there as a defendant. In 2010, he was charged with domestic battery, although the charge was dismissed in 2011.

Perry said she can’t say anything negative about Mathis, only that it’s a loss for law enforcement in the county.

“It’s a tragedy for all, regardless of the circumstances and situations,” she said.

The DA’s office plans to release more information after the investigation is completed.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.