Police investigating officer-involved shooting in Visalia

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- An investigation is underway in the South Valley Saturday night after an armed robbery quickly turned into an officer-involved shooting.

Police say an earlier altercation is the reason they were able to respond so quickly.

It was one of two crimes scenes detectives are processing this evening related to the shooting.

The other was just a few blocks away at a home. Detectives say it was an altercation between family friends that started it all.

"Everybody was scared not just me there were customers trying to hide behind chip racks," said Manager Amar Singh.

He is still in shock after his Arco AM-PM became the target of an armed robbery that ended with an officer-involved shooting

"The cashier, he's a brave guy to take shots on the side of your head and to not get scared and freak out and just say, 'here take the money.' Your life's way more important. He did the right thing," said Singh.

Singh says he is thankful Visalia Police were able to respond so quickly.

"They were here at the right time to not let him go anywhere," said Singh.

Visalia Police are not identifying the gunman but say they were already in the area searching for him after a family dispute nearby.

Chief Jason Salazar says they were initially called to a home on noble and Velie where the suspect, fired eight to 10 rounds after he was confronted by family friends for allegedly assaulting a seven-year-old during their party.

Officers were searching just outside the gas station when they heard three shots fired and saw a man running away with cash and a gun in hand.

"They pursued him on the east side of the building where the suspect turned and began firing rounds at the two officers," said Visalia Police Department Chief Jason Salazar.

Only one of the two officers returned fire. The suspect was struck once in the shoulder and was taken to a nearby hospital where he remains in police custody.

The Tulare County Sheriff's Office will investigate the officer-involved shooting as well as the armed robbery that took place here.

Visalia Police will investigate the shots fired and alleged felony child abuse.
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