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Venn, Bays were officers in deadly shooting

• Suspect was shot at Imperial & Ustick roads

POSTED November 1, 2017 10:04 a.m.
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Ceres Police Sgt. Darren Venn, a 17-year veteran of his department, and Officer Ross Bays were the officers involved in the deadly Oct. 22 shooting of chase suspect Nicholas Adam Pimentel, 27, of Modesto.

The names of the officers had been withheld initially but were released Friday.

Neither Venn nor Bays were injured. They were placed on administrative leave, a standard practice whenever law enforcement officials are involved in the use of deadly force.

Bays has 15 years of law enforcement experience.

A multi-agency police investigation is underway delving into the shooting death of Pimentel, a driver who fled Ceres officers during a pursuit in south Modesto. Pimentel was shot as the pursuit reportedly ended with a PIT maneuver at Imperial Avenue and Ustick Road.

The preliminary investigation revealed that at approximately 1:08 a.m., a Ceres police officer was in pursuit of a Chevy pickup in the unincorporated area of Modesto. About two minutes later officers radioed that they had been involved in a shooting with the driver struck by officers' gunfire.

Emergency personnel tended to the dying Pimentel and transported him to a local hospital where he later died.

The shooting has resulted in three separate and independent investigations. The Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department is conducting a criminal investigation while Ceres Police Department is handling an administrative investigation. The District Attorney's Office is conducting its own review as it does in all officer-involved shooting.

The last incident in which a Ceres Police officer fatally shot a suspect was in January 2016 when Albert Thompson, 28, reached for a hand torch while running from Ceres officers Justin Canatsy and Jesus Salinas at El Camino Avenue and Don Pedro Road. The shooting was ruled justified by the District Attorney's office which reviewed details.

Pimentel had been drinking before the incident, his sister, Summer Pimentel, told a Modesto reporter. Pimentel has a criminal history with a no contest plea to a misdemeanor DUI and obstructing or resisting an officer or emergency personnel in 2012.

 

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