PORTERVILLE — A Porterville police officer shot and killed a man in his home Sunday night as he struggled to avoid arrest after a traffic stop on a bicycle, a police official said.
Vincent Steen, 27, was riding on a bicycle around 7:15 p.m. near Henderson Avenue and Cottage Street when a police officer attempted to stop him for “multiple code violations,” a report on the incident said. Steen attacked the officer as he tried to get information from the suspect. Additional officers were called to the scene as Steen escaped on foot, said Capt. Chris Dempsie.
Officers chased Steen to his family’s home on the 600 block of West Oakmont St. Once inside the home, another struggle ensued as three police officers tried to take Steen into custody, reportedly firing a taser to subdue him. However, as the struggle continued, two of the officers fired their weapons at the suspect, striking him. He died at the scene.
Although at least two shots were fired, a coroner’s report said an autopsy revealed Steen died from a single gunshot wound to the chest.
Two of the police officers were treated at Sierra View District Hospital for minor injuries and released.
The three police officers are on administrative leave. Per department policy, an independent investigation into the incident will be conducted by the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office. The officers’ names were not immediately disclosed pending review of the incident.