Merced, CA – We are learning more about the man behind the badge who was killed during an officer involved shooting in Merced late Tuesday night.
Gunfire that woke a south Merced neighborhood has shaken the community to its core. Former Dos Palos police chief Barry Mann still can’t believe the officer killed was the man he worked side by side with.
“Officers shooting at officers is a bad thing, especially for the community and for how he was around me it’s just hard for me to believe that happened.”
Mann who lives in Texas now, hired Mathis in 2014. The district attorney’s office in Merced, who has yet to confirm Mathis’ identity says the officer was on administrative leave.
“He was obviously going through some personal things and that may have leaked onto his job if he wasn’t working at the department.” said Mann.
The da’S office says there was a slow chase leading up to the shooting. The car smashed into the garage door before shots were fired. Mann has a theory of what happened.
“If he decided to take his own life during the situation and he fired and then other officers fired not knowing if he was firing at them or not.”
Court records show Mathis was accused of domestic battery in 2010, that charge dismissed in 2011.
Mann says he hasn’t talked with Mathis since he retired but says Mathis’ family life seemed to be a happy one.
“I know when I was around them they were pretty all over each other, pretty loving.”
Mann says Mathis leaves behind a wife and three kids, two of which serve in the military. The DA says they will not release any more information about the case at this time. It’s still unclear who fired the fatal shot.