VISALIA, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — Visalia Police on Thursday released the identity of the suspected bank robber that was shot and killed by officers during a traffic stop.
On Wednesday, officers received a report of a robbery that had occurred at a Tri Counties Bank branch on 509 S. Pinkham Ave., said Sgt. Celeste Sanchez. The suspect, later identified as Joshua Van Machado, 43, of Hanford, took an undetermined amount of cash and fled in a truck.
An officer responding to the bank found a vehicle that matched the suspect vehicle description in the area of Walnut Avenue and Santa Fe Street.
Additional officers responded and followed the suspect vehicle to the area of Court Street and Laura Avenue where a felony traffic stop was performed.
Machado exited his vehicle while holding a black handgun.
As the suspect began to move the handgun in the direction of officers, they fired several rounds at him after ordering him to drop the weapon, Sanchez said. Machado was struck and fell to the ground while holding the weapon.
Officers tried again to order Machado to release the handgun but he continued to hold onto it.
A trained negotiator was called to try to convince the suspect to let go of the weapon but still did not comply with officers.
Sanchez said Machado picked up the gun again and additional shots were fired by officers. After the second shooting, officers fired more rounds toward him after moving the gun toward officers.
Officers took the suspect into custody and began CPR until medical crews arrived. He was later declared dead at the scene.
Visalia Police plan to conduct an administrative investigation while the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office will conduct a criminal investigation.