Shoplifting suspect shot by Visalia Police

VISALIA, Calif.

Visalia Police say at about 4:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, security at Sears in Sequoia Mall noticed a suspect in a wheelchair allegedly stealing in the store. Police say security confronted the suspect and a pull out a knife and threatened them.

Investigators say the suspect escaped into the nearby Marshalls store and fled through the exit. Security then notified the Visalia Police Department.

"When our officer confronted him, after he entered Marshalls and then exited, he actually stood up from the wheelchair where he got involved in an altercation with the officer, and my officer was forced to defend himself," said Visalia Police Chief Colleen Mestas.

Police say the officer shot the suspect and he was taken to Kaweah Delta District Hospital where he died.

The Tulare County Sheriff's Office will be heading the investigation. The officer will be placed on administrative leave pending the investigation.

Investigators have not released the suspects identification.

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