Officer involved shooting found justifiable by VC District Attorney
By Gazette Staff Writer — Wednesday, May 14th, 2014
On January 30, 2013, Ventura County Sheriff’s deputies were notified that a man possessed a handgun at Mountain Vista Elementary School in the city of Fillmore, California. The subject was linked to 716 ½ Blaine Avenue in Fillmore. Sheriff’s Deputies James Tedder, Russell Grant and Leonardo Vazquez responded to 716 ½ Blaine Avenue. When they arrived, they encountered Josue Jimenez, 29 of Fillmore, who was standing in his driveway and holding a handgun. The deputies unholstered their weapons and immediately and continuously ordered Mr. Jimenez to put his weapon down.
Instead, Mr. Jimenez walked to the southern side of his property, chambered a round into his handgun and fired a shot through his fence at a dog in the neighboring yard. He then began turning toward Deputy Tedder. Deputy Tedder fired two shots at Mr. Jimenez, killing him.
The District Attorney’s Office has a 24-hour on-call officer-involved shooting team available to all Ventura County law enforcement agencies to assist in the investigation of officer-involved shootings. Once the District Attorney’s Office was notified of the shooting, Senior Deputy District Attorney Christopher Harman (who authored this report) and District Attorney Investigators Tom Mendez and Robert MacInnes responded to the shooting scene and consulted with the investigating officers.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office conducted an investigation of the shooting, which included interviewing witnesses, collecting physical evidence, and photographing the area of the shooting. All three involved deputies individually conducted a voluntary walkthrough to criminal investigators where they described the incident.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office’s investigation reports were then submitted to the District Attorney’s Office for a determination of whether the shooting of Josue Jimenez was justified and, if not, whether criminal charges should be filed. The scope of the District Attorney’s review was limited to those issues.
The District Attorney’s review included reviewing approximately 580 pages of reports and documents which included interviews of police and civilian witnesses, diagrams, photographs, numerous recorded interviews and records, recordings of radio transmissions, and examining the scene of the shooting.
Based on the information available for review, the District Attorney’s investigation, and the applicable legal authorities, it is the opinion of the District Attorney that the shooting of Josue Jimenez by Ventura County Sheriff’s Deputy James Tedder was justified and was not a criminal act.