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Madera Police officer shoots armed suspect who brandished handgun, authorities say

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Madera Police released this dash cam video that shows the events leading up to an officer involved shooting. (KFSN)

Madera Police released this dash cam video that shows the events leading up to an officer involved shooting. They said a police officer fired his weapon after 39-year-old Saul Santana pointed a handgun directly at him.

"Boom, boom, boom, boom-- quick, one right after another," said Yolanda Enriquez, Madera resident.

Enriquez said that is what she heard as the shots rang out in front of her home, she said some of her grandkids saw the scene unfold.

"She threw her bike and came running inside."

Chief Steve Frazier said it started when officers were called a little after 4:30 p.m. on Monday for a man driving around with a knife to his neck near C and 14 Street.

After officers got sight of the truck, they followed it for almost 10 minutes, until Santana began to slow down. He then got out of the car and pointed a 9 millimeter handgun toward and officer, he defended himself by shooting five rounds, striking the Santana in the shoulder.

"We have someone driving, willing to brandish a handgun in front of law enforcement, that poses a significant threat to our citizens and is a crime," said Frazier.

Frazier said Santana has a criminal history; he served eight years in prison for carjacking with a handgun that occurred near the Butte County area. Officers also found a severe, self-inflicted gash along his neck causing them to believe he was suicidal.

"His intent was to have our officer kill him."

Frazier said his officers are trained to deescalate a situation but they weren't able to make that connection during this incident.

"We would've taken as long as it took to talk him out of that situation, but it just didn't provide that opportunity."

The officer is on administrative leave as the investigation is ongoing.

The department would not release the name of the officer, but did say he's been with the department for two to three years.

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officer-involved shootingmadera countyMadera
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