Man shot and killed by police identified, officers say he fired a rifle at group of teenagers

Local News

FRESNO, California (KSEE) – Police have identified the man shot and killed in an officer-involved shooting in Fresno over the weekend.

The suspect was identified as Gregory Putnik, 32. Officers say he had multiple warrants from across the United States, was listed as an armed and dangerous felon, and a parolee at large out of Springfield, Illinois (with a primary violation of assault on a police officer).

According to police, on Sunday officers were dispatched to the area of the 1300 block of Esther in central Fresno for a report of an attempted carjacking. They arrived to find a man armed with a broom handle, suggesting he had a pistol under his shirt, demanding the car. The owner refused and later called 911.

Police say the suspect fled the scene and climbed onto the roof of a home. The homeowner then came outside with a rifle, the suspect fled, and went inside leaving the rifle on the kitchen table.

According to officers, the suspect then got into an altercation on the street with another nearby resident, managed to take the rifle belonging to the first homeowner, and then used the rifle to fire at a group of teenagers standing across the street.

“I’m honestly not an aggressive person, nothing like that. I just tried to do what was right, all these people are like family to me,” said Mikhail Bacon who fought Putnik.

The suspect then approached an unmarked unoccupied Fresno Police patrol vehicle and officers say he attempted to break out the driver’s side window, breaking the stock of the rifle. He then fled northbound, and officers fired two bean bag rounds at the suspect – with no effect.

The suspect continued to advance through the neighborhood and, despite efforts to de-escalate the situation, officers were forced to fire shots at the suspect. He was taken to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

“We have a couple broken windows but our life could have been on the line too,” said resident Raymond Fernandez who is now having to repair broken windows and damage to his truck.

The Fresno Police Department Homicide Unit, the City of Fresno Civil Liability Team, the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office, and the City of Fresno’s Office Independent Review are all investigating this case. Five officers and one sergeant have all been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation.

No officers or citizens were injured in this incident.

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