Man fatally shot by Clovis officers was armed with airsoft gun, called 911 on himself, police say

Clovis police say Frazier called 911 pretending to be a witness to report a man with a gun in the Walmart parking lot.

ByABC30.Com Staff via KFSN logo
Tuesday, September 1, 2020
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Clovis police say the suspect, Nikolas Frazier, called 911 pretending to be a witness to report a man with a gun in the Walmart parking lot.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Clovis police chief released the body camera footage Tuesday, along with more details about what brought officers to Herndon near Clovis Avenue.

In a strange twist, investigators say the suspect, 26-year-old Nikolas Frazier, pretended to be a witness and was the one to call 911, bringing officers to the scene. In the call, he said the suspect had a rifle.

Audio of the call was released Tuesday. In it, the 911 caller says, "He's walking around in the parking lot."

The dispatcher asks, "Is he pointing it at anybody?"

The caller responds, "Not at the moment. It's pretty much dead out here. I'm a pretty good distance away, but I can pretty much tell he's carrying some sort of rifle."

Clovis Police got a good description of the events that were supposedly unfolding from a 911 caller Sunday around 1:30 in the morning. After getting several details for responding officers, the dispatcher asked what would end up to be the most important question of all.

"Can I get your name?" asked the dispatcher. The caller responded, "My name is Nikolas Frazier."

Just released body camera footage details the moments as they unfolded. Seven Clovis police officers and a sergeant pulled into the parking lot within three minutes.

"Drop the gun!" hollers the sergeant. The sergeant then says to the dispatcher, "He's got a rifle in his hand- one at gunpoint."

It was intense from the start.

The sergeant said to the suspect, "What's going on, man? Talk to us. Come on man, we don't want to do this. Come on brother. Help us out dude. Nobody wants to hurt you, man. Let us help you."

The suspect yelled back, "No."

Clovis Police Chief, Curt Fleming said officers were put in a very bad position after the suspect raised what appeared to be a long barrel rifle.

"At 1:44 am, Mr. Frazier raised the rifle and pointed it at the officers and six officers fired their weapons," said Fleming.

Based on what detectives have uncovered during the first 48 hours, they say it's clear Frazier lured the officers into a suicide by cop scenario. Officers later learned the weapon Frazier had was a BB gun.

"We don't know why that happened or what happened earlier in the day or earlier in the week that led him to this, and that's what we're trying to determine right now," said Fleming.

Officers showed Frazier's family the video before releasing it Tuesday. Our efforts to reach them were unsuccessful.

After the shooting, Frazier's father told Action News his son does not suffer from mental illness and just got a job at the Amazon Fulfillment Center two days before the incident.

At this point, investigators have not found any note left by the suspect. They also searched his home and are now looking through electronic evidence for any sign of what may have led to the deadly confrontation.

If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).