Man facing charges following officer-involved shooting in Visalia Mall parking lot
VISALIA, Calif. (FOX26) —
UPDATE: Jan. 11, 2019, 10:00 a.m.
A 36-year-old man has been identified in connection with a shooting in a mall parking lot, the Visalia Police Department said.
It happened around 4:45 p.m. at the Visalia Mall.
According to the Visalia Police Department, officers got a call about a man, identified as Richard Sylvester Garcia, possibly armed and driving a stolen car.
Officers set up surveillance in the area and saw Garcia exiting the mall.
Officers say they then saw what appeared to be a firearm in his waistband.
Before officers could contact Garcia, police say Garcia entered a white Sedan parked on the north side of the mall parking lot next to Walnut Avenue.
Police say officers talked with Garcia and gave him orders to get out of the car, but he refused.
Police say Garcia then put the car in reverse and accelerated toward the two officers.
Police say the officers feared for their safety and fired several rounds at Garcia.
The car then came to a stop and Garcia was taken out of the car, police say.
Police say a firearm was also removed from Garcia's waistband.
Garcia was taken to the hospital and the Tulare County Sheriff's Department took over the assault investigation against Visalia officers.
Garcia was booked for two counts of assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer, felon in possession of a firearm and possession of stolen property.
The Visalia Mall has been evacuated and shut down after police say at least one person has been shot. Traffic is being diverted from the area.
We will be updating this page as more information becomes available.