Unarmed man fatally shot by officer in Bay Point

March 28, 2011 6:40:40 PM PDT
In the East Bay on Monday, one man was shot dead by police and the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office says deputies had no choice, but to open fire.

Bay Point's Nathan Poznick said he heard the gunshots just after 1 a.m. Monday. It was the culmination of a traffic stop made by two Contra Costa Sheriff's deputies on a white Buick. At first the driver provided deputies with a false name, then, according to sheriff's deputies, they learned there was a warrant for the man's arrest.

"The driver of the vehicle started to flee, inside the car, driving away at a high rate of speed. The deputies attempted to prevent him from driving away. One deputy became partially trapped inside the vehicle. The other deputy was struck by the vehicle. In fear for both of their safety and to prevent serious injury or fatality, one of the officers fired his service weapon," said Contra Costa Sheriff's Capt. Steve Warne.

The Buick came to a stop about 200 yards from where the incident began.

"They stopped, locked their brakes up, then the cops pulled up behind him and the guy fell out, and didn't get up," said Bay Point resident Mike Grimm.

The driver of the Buick, 24-year-old Johnny Angel Ochoa, was shot in the stomach and later died at an area hospital. A five-year veteran, the deputy who fired on Ochoa received minor leg injuries when struck by the car.

Sheriffs say the warrant for Ochoa's arrest stemmed from prior child endangerment and vandalism charges.

"This suspect was wanted on a warrant, did not want to be apprehended, and tried to flee," said Warne.

Because the shooting involved a deputy, the Contra Costa District Attorney's Office will also investigate Ochoa's death.

Load Comments