OXNARD (AP) — Oxnard police said they mistakenly killed an innocent bystander they believed was a suspect during a weekend shootout that followed a traffic stop.
Oxnard police said Thursday in a statement they opened fire on 21-year-old Alfonso Limon because they thought he was one of two suspects who fled on foot and shot at officers after they were stopped. Police officials had previously indicated Limon, whose family said had been out jogging, was just caught in the crossfire.
“During this rapidly developing foot pursuit, which included officers being fired upon, some of the officers believed that Alfonso Limon was one of the suspects. As a result, some of the officers fired their weapons at him,” police said in a statement.
Police didn’t say why they believed Limon was a suspect.
Saturday’s shootout involving nine officers occurred after police had trouble with three men who didn’t cooperate during a traffic stop. Police received reports that one of the suspects might have a gun.
One of the men, Rafael Hernandez, didn’t run from the car and surrendered to police.
Jose Zepeda, 24, was killed during the shootout after he ran, and Justin Villa, also 24, was injured, police said. Villa was arrested for investigation of possession of a controlled substance and a probation violation. Two handguns were recovered.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, county prosecutors and Oxnard police are investigating.
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