Authorities investigating two officer-involved shootings in Tulare County in two days

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One shooting was near Waukena while the other was in Strathmore. In each case, the suspects are shot and sent to the hospital with injuries. (KFSN)

The Tulare County Sheriff's Office is dealing with two officer-involved shootings in just two days.

One shooting was near Waukena while the other was in Strathmore. In each case, the suspects are shot and sent to the hospital with injuries.

Just after 6 p.m. Sunday, a deputy was patrolling Road 254 in Strathmore near Avenue 216. He was looking for 50-year-old Michael Yocum, a man wanted in a domestic violence call. The deputy found him on foot near an olive orchard.

"While attempting to put handcuffs on this particular suspect, he became violent, very aggressive towards the officer," Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux explained. "And he took a fighting stance."

Authorities said they wrestled into the mud with the suspect grabbing the officer's gun and unlocking its holster.

"It's incredibly violent," Boudreaux said. "The struggle that takes place on the ground and then the suspect attempts to retrieve the gun again, they're in this hand-to-hand battle over this gun."

Eventually, he said the deputy is on his back with the suspect on top of him.

"The officer in fearing for his life, obviously, in this battle both struggling over the weapon, fired multiple rounds, stopping the fight," Boudreaux said.

That came a day after a deputy fired a round at 28-year-old Dustin Drennen who had a felony warrant for his arrest. The traffic stop was caught on camera outside of a market north of Waukena. Authorities said the deputy was assaulted as the suspect tried to drive off with his arm caught in the window.

"I think that there's this misconception or misunderstanding that we shoot with the intention of killing someone," Boudreaux said. "That's really not the case. Sometimes that in fact happens, but, really, what officers do is they shoot to stop the threat. And I would have to commend the officers in this case that the minimal number of rounds were fired to stop that threat."

For two similar situations to happen in just one weekend has some residents pointing at the poor decisions people make.

"It's scary but, you know what, I'm 100 percent for the officers," Bill Fox of Strathmore said "I mean the guy was trying to get his gun, if that's the case, then so be it. The guy's lucky to be alive."
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