MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) --The shooting happened near the heart of Merced, not far from several homeless encampments. It didn't take long for community activists to arrive at the scene to document what happened.
"There's been so many issues going on with our officers being held accountable. I wanted to come out to the scene to see what exactly might be going on," said Victoria Castillo, community activist.
Police said the call began on West 18th but ended on Q Street. Someone at the barbershop said a man was yelling and started threatening them with a golf club.
An officer soon found 55-year-old Francisco Luis Davila and asked for identification. When he didn't cooperate, the police chief said she tried to pat him down.
Norm Andrade, Merced Police Chief, said the man struck the officer in the face and after the tussle the officer broke free. The suspect grabbed what appeared to be a golf club and the officer reached for her gun.
"She ordered him to put it down, he would not obey the orders and subsequently he was shot," said Andrade.
But Castillo, who has been critical of the police department, said she will wait for the investigation to wrap up before making a judgement.
The officer was wearing a body camera but the Chief doesn't know if it will be released to the public.
"Merced police have been significantly targeting the homeless population. They've been getting ticketed for camping and numerous things that are targeting them to kind of take them off the street instead of getting them the help they need," said Castillo.
The chief hasn't released the officer's name but she was one of the department's newest hires and after just six months on the street, is now on paid administrative leave.
Davila was treated at the scene and taken to a hospital in Modesto for more treatment but his condition is unknown.