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Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office Releases Details On Weekend Shooting

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Sonora, CA– Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office officials have released more information on a Saturday night shooting that turned fatal. On Saturday evening at close to 7:05pm, Sheriff’s dispatch received multiple reports of an intoxicated male who crashed his vehicle into the front of the Twain Harte 7-11. CAL Fire was the first on the scene and requested a “Code 3” emergency by deputies. CAL Fire reported the driver of the vehicle was attempting to leave the scene while intoxicated and in possession of a revolver.

Deputies responded while hearing from witnesses the vehicle was “blacked out” with no lights and ran two vehicles off the roadway while traveling at a high rate of speed westbound on Highway 108. Deputies attempted to stop the vehicle near Mono Way and Christie May Lane in East Sonora, the driver of the vehicle did not yield to officers and led a vehicle pursuit with speeds reaching up to 95 mph. The pursuit ended in the area of Edgemont Acres Road in Sonora. The driver, identified as Fred Westmoreland, stopped his vehicle in the driveway of an adjacent residence where he exited his vehicle and confronted the deputy armed with a revolver. A CHP officer arrived on scene to assist the deputy. Westmoreland pointed his loaded revolver at the responding deputy and CHP officer. They engaged him with their firearms striking him multiple times.

Medical personal responded to the scene and provided medical aid and CPR, however, Westmoreland was pronounced deceased at the scene by a paramedic. The involved deputy suffered minor injures as a result of the incident. A loaded .22 Caliber, single action revolver contained two live rounds of ammunition and four spent casings was recovered from Westmoreland at the scene. A search of the vehicle recovered one loaded 12-gauge shotgun, a loaded 30-06 bolt action rifle, and a loaded .410 shotgun with a  sawed-off barrel. Investigators recovered several items of drug paraphernalia and suspected methamphetamine from Westmoreland ’s vehicle.

The Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office expressed condolences for the loss of life and the traumatic incident. The shooting remains under investigation and the deputy involved has been placed on paid administrative leave. More details will be released as the investigation continues. A link to the original story can be found here.