BY ANNA BURLESON Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
After days of unanswered questions, the McFarland Police Department is laying out what it says prompted officers to engage in a chase reaching speeds of 70 mph on city streets in both McFarland and Delano and two officers to shoot at a suspect Monday.
And despite a witness report to The Californian that the suspect tried to surrender before he was shot, McFarland police say they have no evidence of that.
"No one has come forward to McFarland Police Department and stated anything about the offender having his hands up," Sgt. Scot Kimble said Friday.
Randy Ferreira was struck, taken to Kern Medical Center for treatment and later booked into jail on suspicion of multiple felonies.
The Kern County District Attorney's office is investigating the shooting and Assistant Chief Investigator Tam Hodgson said they've talked with as many witnesses as they could find, but because of the ongoing investigation, he could not reveal who they've interviewed.
"We welcome the opportunity to identify any additional witnesses," Hodgson said.
Ferreira appeared in Kern County Superior Court on Friday and pleaded not guilty to 10 felony charges and one misdemeanor, including assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a stolen vehicle and driving with a suspended license, among others. Court Clerk Lily Gardea said Ferreira will appear in court again for a pre-preliminary hearing Aug. 8; bail has been set at $130,000.
Here's how the McFarland Police Department's Kimble says the incident unfolded:
The city and surrounding area had experienced a rash of stolen vehicles, and the department had been watching a residence where it was believed stolen cars were being dismantled for parts.
At about 11 a.m. Monday, two vehicles left the premises. McFarland police Sgt. Mike Weber and Officer Alberto Carrillo were in separate cars and tried to pull them over for traffic violations. Ferreira, who was driving a Nissan pickup truck, did not stop and led both officers on a pursuit through residential and business areas of McFarland and Delano, Kimble said.
"He drove his vehicle towards two other civilian vehicles and drove them off of the roadway," Kimble said.
The chase reached speeds of 70 mph in some areas and at one point Ferreira drove through a construction area, forcing two construction workers to flee to avoid injury.
Once in Delano, Ferreira exited the vehicle and ran while the two McFarland officers and a California Highway Patrol officer, whose name has not been released, chased him. During the pursuit, the CHP officer fell and suffered injuries to her face.
Carrillo fired once at Ferreira during the foot chase but missed, Kimble said.
The suspect then approached a parked vehicle and briefly searched it before continuing to run.
"The suspect refused to follow commands and kept his hands in his waistband area," Kimble said.
Officers thought Ferreira had obtained a weapon from the parked car, and as a result, Weber fired at him, Kimble said.
He didn't know how many times Ferreira had been struck, but knew that there were both entrance and exit wounds.
The other vehicle at the residence where the chase originated was no longer at the scene by the time the chase happened and has not been found.
The McFarland officers who were involved are on paid administrative leave.