After an officer-involved shooting and the ensuing standoff, 43-year-old William Nazar died from gunshot wounds on 400 block of North Verduga Street in Turlock on July 4th. The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department is still trying to find Nazar’s motive for firing at police officers. Deputy Steve Gerhardt took a standard one week administrative leave after being the target of Nazar’s fire.
Officers responded just before 3 PM to a report that a suicidal male had armed himself with a gun. When deputies approached the suspect’s house, Nazar emerged and began firing. Deputy Gerhardt was able to return fire and provide cover for three civilians on the scene that were seeking safety. Deputy Raj Singh of the Modesto Police Department confirmed that these civilians were related to Nazar, but their exact relation has not been released by authorities.
Once Nazar retreated back into his home, an emergency call for assistance was broadcast over the radio and law enforcement agencies from throughout Stanislaus County and Merced County responded. The local SWAT team was also activated, and they established a perimeter and prepared to search the property once they arrived on the scene. After the SWAT team searched three outbuildings, they found Nazar’s body just outside the main house of the property. Sheriff’s Detectives have determined that Nazar died from the return gunshot wounds from Deputy Gerhardt.
Deputy Singh revealed that a sense of urgency after a previous tragedy compelled the neighboring police departments to assist in apprehending Nazar. “[We] had a deputy shot and killed in the line of duty a few months ago,” he said, “so that was still fresh in our minds and makes everyone [want] to come and help.”
Merced Sun-Star: Deputy’s Gunfire Killed Suicidal Man
Turlock City News: Stanislaus Deputyand Man Shot Dead by Deputy in Gunfire Exchange Identified
KCRA: Stanislaus Deputy Fatally shot Man in Standoff