Police say Ceres officer fired gun at suspect after report of aggressive man in park near a school

04/17/2014 10:24 AM

04/17/2014 6:06 PM

A police officer responding to a call of a suspicious man in a park near a school Thursday morning opened fire on the suspect.

Nobody was hurt in the incident, and the suspect was taken into custody and arrested, Ceres police Sgt. Jose Berber said.

Two officers responded to a 9:15 a.m. call of a man in Neel Park “screaming and aggressively swinging a golf club,” Berber said. As the officers talked to the 29-year-old Ceres resident, one of them “discharged his service weapon at the suspect,” Berber said.

Officials placed nearby Samuel Vaughn Elementary School on lockdown as a safety precaution while more emergency personnel responded to the Whitehaven Avenue scene.

The suspect – Talwinder Bains, 29, of Ceres – was quickly apprehended in the immediate area. After medical staff examined the man and determined he had not been injured, officers took him to the Police Department for questioning.

The officer also was taken to the department and placed on administrative leave while authorities investigate. That is standard procedure in officer-involved shootings. Berber said authorities are not releasing the officer’s identity, but he has been on the Ceres force for more than 10 years.

It’s not clear what predicated the shooting, nor how many times the officer fired his weapon, though Berber said it was more than once. “We don’t know the distance between the suspect and the officer” when the shooting occurred, Berber said. “We suspect that the officer fired his weapon in a northeastern direction, away from the school.”

Berber said police canvassed the neighborhood to ensure no one was hit, and to see if anyone had seen the incident. Detectives remained at the park Thursday afternoon, looking for evidence including bullet casings.

Bains was transported to the Ceres Police Department for questioning and evaluation by department drug recognition experts, then was arrested on suspicion of being under the influence of drugs, possession of methamphetamine, violating probation, and resisting arrest.

Police ask anyone with information on the case to contact Detective Darren Venn at (209) 538-5135 or Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636. Tipsters can email at www.modestopolice.com/crimestoppers, or text tips to CRIMES (274637) by typing “Tip704” plus a message and be eligible for a cash reward.

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