Domestic violence suspect shot and killed by Woodlake police officers identified

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Tuesday, December 20, 2022
Suspect shot and killed by Woodlake police officers identified
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The Tulare County Sheriff's Office has identified the suspect that was shot and killed by Woodlake officers on Saturday.

EXETER, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Tulare County Sheriff's Office has identified the suspect that was shot and killed by Woodlake officers on Saturday.

Around 10:45 am, Tulare County sheriff's deputies were called out to a report of a domestic violence incident at a home near Beechwood Avenue and Road 158 in Ivanhoe.

Deputies say the suspect is 33-year-old Victor Melendez.

Melendez is a Puerto-Rican man who had family in Florida but recently moved to Ivanhoe, Calif.

He is suspected of choking his girlfriend and putting a gun to her head.

After initially avoiding police, he was found found near Millwood Drive and Avenue 332-- leading officers into a chase.

The chase ended after officials say the suspect hit a car at Highway 198 and Road 196 near Exeter.

Officials say the suspect refused to listen to commands, resulting in officers opening fire on him and killing him.

The Tulare County Sheriff's Office and California Department of Justice will be investigating the incident.

If you are the victim of domestic abuse, or you know someone who is, there is help available 24/7. In Fresno County, call the Marjaree Mason Center at (559) 233-4357. In all other locations, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-7233.