Tulare Police shoot and kill suspect during violent confrontation

TULARE, Calif. (KFSN) -- Tulare Police officers shot and killed a suspect Monday afternoon, after multiple physical confrontations.

The violence has the community on edge.

"I know our 911 system was so overloaded they were having to hang up on people because they had so many calls about our officers in a fight with this guy," said Tulare Police Sgt. John Hamlin.

Around 4:30 Monday afternoon officers were responding to the assault of a bus driver near the corner of E Cross Ave and N Cherry St. When they spotted a man matching a suspect description, they attempted to talk to him. That's when officers say the man tried to fight them.

According to Police, the physical altercation prompted officers to use their Tasers, which they say were ineffective. "The suspect became combative. At that point in time, the officers put out that there had been shots fired," said Sgt. Hamlin.

Cell phone video of the encounter shows one officer running after the suspect before using his Taser, the chase continues with the suspect punching the officer, the officer then takes out his baton and swings. The chase then moves across the street where the second officer pepper sprays the suspect. Shortly after, shots are fired.

WATCH: Viewer video of the confrontation between an assault suspect and Tulare Police officers
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Video of the confrontation between an assault suspect and Tulare Police officers captured by Action News viewer Jessica Rodriguez.

Though two officers were involved, according to Police, it's unclear whether one or both officers fired.

The suspect was taken to a local hospital and was later declared dead by doctors. He has been identified as 27-year-old Jontell Reedom of Tulare

Police say it's unknown whether Reedom was armed.

One witness didn't want to be identified but says he was about 30 feet away, caught in traffic caused by the initial altercation. "I didn't see him produce a weapon. I didn't hear an officer say 'drop the weapon' or anything like that. All the sudden, I see this officer pulls out his firearm and just 'pow pow pow' four or five times."
Per protocol both officers have been placed on paid administrative leave.

Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux says his department will investigate the shooting at the request of Interim Tulare Police Chief Barry Jones.

Police officers in Tulare do not have body cameras, but Tulare County Sheriff's investigators are interviewing witnesses and looking for nearby surveillance video.
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