Police release details of officer's weekend shooting

Police release details of officer's weekend shooting

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Police released a full account Tuesday of a weekend shooting involving one of their officers.

Officer Keith Cason was sent to the area of Ming Avenue and Gosford Road around midnight Saturday on an assault and domestic-violence call.

The suspect, 25-year-old Victor Florentino Chavez, had been out to a restaurant that evening, Friday night, with his girlfriend. The two began arguing at the restaurant and carried their argument into the drive home, police said.

The couple stopped their car multiple times, with the woman getting out and Chavez reportedly assaulting her and forcing her back into the vehicle. Chavez even allegedly choked his girlfriend so hard that she vomited, police said.

Eventually, they pulled over on a residential street called Calle Salida, which is near Ming and Gosford. The girlfriend, who hasn't been publicly identified, ran, but Chavez caught her and forced her to the ground. A pair of 15-year-old boys witnessed this and tried to help, but Chavez allegedly threatened to kill one of the boys and hit him in the face and body several times.

The boys and girlfriend managed to get away and called for help at a nearby home.

Police said Chavez himself also called 911, telling the dispatcher that he assaulted his girlfriend and indicated that he was armed. He told the dispatcher that officers had better start shooting when they arrived, police said.

When Cason arrived, he found Chavez sitting in the car. The officer ordered Chavez out of the car, but he allegedly refused, responding instead with obscenities, police said.

Eventually, Chavez kicked open the door and got out, but then reached back into the car and pulled out what the officer thought was a handgun.

Police said Chavez ran toward Cason with the object, and Cason shot four times, striking Chavez three times.

The object turned out to be a cell phone, police said.

Cason was placed on routine administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into the shooting.

Chavez was hospitalized and faces possible charges of attempted murder, spousal abuse, kidnapping, false imprisonment, criminal threats and battery.