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Police release video of deadly shooting of man attacking officer
• Suspect stabs officer in arm before shots
Alexander Yepez-Oretga shooting
Police bodycam captured the moments leading up to the fatal shooting of Alexander Yepez-Oretga. He was ordered to show his both hands and did not comply prior to exiting and immediately swinging his knife and stabbing Officer Selin Chrim who is holding her gun here. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

The Ceres Police Department has released video of the May 10 fatal shooting of a 22-year-old Ceres man who was attacking a female officer with a knife and previously threatening his brother with the same.

The video, posted on YouTube, starts with Ceres Police Chief Chris Perry explaining the events that led up to the shooting of Alexander Yepez-Ortega. Police were called to Dirk Court in Ceres at 11:40 a.m. regarding Yepez-Ortega who was brandishing a knife to his brother. The suspect’s sister-in-law called 9-1-1 to report that “there’s like a tweaker outside my house and he has a knife and he’s threatening my husband.”

Dispatchers quickly confirmed that the suspect had a warrant for his arrest for multiple charges including assault with a deadly weapon and a domestic violence incident in Modesto.

Ceres Police Sgt. Jon Blount and Ceres Police Officer Salin Chrim-Marquez responded to the scene along with a Modesto Police officer with a canine. By the time they arrived, Yepez-Ortega had fled out the back of the residential duplex property, through a break in a fence and into an adjacent commercial yard in the 3400 block of Sixth Street. Within moments the officers found Ortiz hiding in an abandoned Dodge Ram Charger on the property.

Both bodycam video from the officers and home surveillance video are incorporated in the YouTube video. The latter shows him in the yard confronting his brother with knife in hand and other times swinging it around in the yard which is filled with children’s toys.

The video shows the officers holding a gun on Yepez-Ortega and ordering him to come out. When he finally opened the passenger door and exited the pickup, he immediately began lunging toward Officer Chrim with a knife. She was slashed in the forearm as she held up her left arm in a defensive position while holding her gun in her right hand. Almost instantaneously both Officer Chrim and Sgt. Blount fired a volley of shots at Yepez-Ortega, mortally wounding him.

Officers made unsuccessful attempts to resuscitate Yepez-Ortega.

Because of the graphic nature of the video, viewers are warned and YouTube requires age verification before viewing. Comments are disabled.

The video, titled, ”Ceres Police Department Officer Involved Shooting 5/10/24” is found at

As is customary in police shootings, the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office is performing its own independent investigation into the shooting. Those investigations conclude with a public report that can take up to a year to produce.

Policy also calls for Ceres Police to conduct internal administrative investigations into the incident.

Yepez-Ortega had a criminal history including leading police on a vehicle pursuit, assault with a deadly weapon, domestic violence, vehicle theft, driving under the influence and violation of a criminal protective order.

Yepez-Ortega had been arrested on Dec. 29, 2022 for reckless driving, possession of suspected cocaine, transportation of illegal drugs, driving without a driver’s license and resisting arrest. In that arrest, Officer Freddie Ortiz held a gun on Yepez-Ortega as he fled toward a house on Dirk Court after a short police pursuit. He was found with cocaine at the time of his booking.

Close to 2016 shooting location

The shooting took place 800 feet from the location of the fatal Jan. 5, 2016 police shooting of 28-year-old Albert Thompson. The district attorney’s office in that case ruled that Ceres Police Department officers Justin Canatsy and Jesus Salinas were justified in the fatal shooting of the Ceres parolee as he tried running away from them at a small apartment complex at El Camino Avenue and Don Pedro Road.

Thompson, who had meth in his system at the time of the shooting, pulled a small, metallic object from his waistband and pointed it towards one of the officers as if it were a firearm. The officers fired at Thompson. The object was later determined to be a butane torch.

Other shootings

In October 2017 Ceres Police Officer Ross Bays and Sgt. Darren Venn were involved in the fatal shooting of Nicholas Adam Pimentel, 27, of Modesto, who fled from them during a pursuit. Pimentel was shot when the pursuit ended with a PIT maneuver at Imperial Avenue and Ustick Road.

Pimentel had been drinking before the incident. 

On August 19, 2018, Officer Bays fatally shot and killed 15-year-old Spencer Carmen Mendez of Hughson at the end of a chase from Smyrna Park to the rural Denair area.

Mendez’s parents filed a wrongful death suit against Officer Bays and Ceres Police Department in federal court with attorneys for the city’s self-insurance pool, the Central San Joaquin Valley Risk Management Authority, settling. Attorneys Adam Stewart of Modesto and Mark Merin of Sacramento asserted that Bays could have used nonlethal methods to stop the fleeing teenager, such as released Bays’ police canine.

The risk management authority shelled out $2.1 million to the parents of Mendez and $2 million to the family of Pimentel.

The DA’s office had cleared Venn and Bays of any wrongdoing in the Pimentel shooting.

Blount bodycam
This screenshot from Sgt. Jon Blount’s bodycam video shows Alexander Yepez Ortega lunging his knife at Officer Salim Chrim which prompted his being shot to death by police. - photo by Contributed to the Courier