San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies shot to death a man they believed was armed as he broke into a Joshua Tree home on Wednesday night, Jan. 11, where a woman was inside, the department said Thursday.
Although the deputies believed the man pointed a gun at them, no weapons were found, the department said in a news release. The release did not say why the deputies believed the man was armed.
The state Department of Justice is investigating the death under the 2021 law that requires it to examine fatal law enforcement shootings of unarmed civilians, the DOJ and Sheriff’s Department said.
The confrontation happened at about 8:25 p.m. in the 61700 block of Oleander Drive, a street in a cluster of homes on dirt lots north of the remote Twentynine Palms Highway. Someone reported a burglary in progress at a home, with the man shouting obscenities at the woman.
Deputies arrived to find that the suspect had broken a window and was attempting to enter.
“The suspect pointed what deputies believed was a weapon at them, and deputies fired at the suspect. The suspect was struck and transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased,” the Sheriff’s Department said.