Orange Cove Police shot and killed 48-year-old Alex Ayala Tuesday afternoon after a confrontation inside his Orange Cove home. While investigators are releasing very few details, Ayala's brother-in-law says the suspect was a diagnosed schizophrenic and Tuesday's shooting is the result of a five year battle with drug use.
The Fresno County Sheriff's Office is investigating the shooting. They say a family member called Orange Cove Police to the house after Ayala started 'acting out,' with behavior that could be described as suicidal.
Jimmy Trujillo said long before Ayala's drug use began, he had served in the marines in the late 80s and early 90's and at one point even owned his own business.
But Trujillo said drugs cost Ayala his marriage, his business, and ultimately, his life. "His last actions... what happened to him. That wasn't him. I don't condone his drug use. He did use drugs. What happened to him was because of the drugs," said Trujillo.
Investigators haven't said what led up to the shooting or even confirmed if Ayala was armed. His death marks the first officer involved shooting for the Orange Cove Police Department, which was just re-established in December of 2009.
While family members are anxious to hear the results of the investigation, Trujillo is reserving judgment for now. "They have families they have to go home to in the evening. If they feel threatened, they need to take of themselves," said Trujillo.
The two officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave.