Bakersfield, California – A business owner from Bakersfield is facing possible charges after he chased down two men he believed to be stealing from him and shot one of them.
Bakersfield Police Department (BPD) officers were dispatched to a report of “suspicious circumstances” at 6:08 a.m. Tuesday morning at 1400 Easton Dr.
When police arrived, they discovered the business owner and one wounded suspect near Truxtun Lake.
After securing the scene, the officers were told by the man he had seen a car he’d recognized from a previous break in on his security cameras.
He quickly went to his business and confronted the alleged thieves who fled the area in the car.
The business owner jumped in his own car and pursued them down a bike path west of Mohawk St. before both vehicles crashed into each other with one car, it is unclear whose, ending up in Truxtun Lake.
The Owner exited his vehicle and fired a shot from his gun, striking one man and wounding him while the other fled on foot.
Officer Byron Sandrini of BPD told KGET, “After the vehicle was in the water, the business owner fired one shot, striking one of the individuals he was chasing.”
“Protecting your property with life threatening issues is not the best idea. Bad choices and bad driving.” Officer Sandrini added.
The wounded suspect was taken to Kern Medical with a gunshot wound to the abdomen, but it is considered minor to moderate in severity. The other suspect was not captured.
“The person that he shot may not have been an upstanding citizen,” said Davide Cohn a local attorney. “(But) you certainly do not have a right under the law to shoot someone, especially if they are not threatening you with any type of deadly force. It seems that the people he was chasing, they may have been the people who were actually in fear.”
Cohn goes on to say that the business owner could be charged with reckless driving, public endangerment, assault with a deadly weapon, and possibly, attempted murder.
No arrests have been made at this time.
BPD is asking anyone with information about the situation to call them at (661) 327-7111.
Knowing the law can help greatly in keeping you from making decisions that may cause you to end up arrested instead of the bad guys. Read here for The Law of Self Defense for state specific information regarding laws in your home state.