The Clovis Police Department gave a press conference regarding the recent shooting at the Walmart parking lot in the early morning of August 30. Police Chief Curt Fleming addressed the media on the specifics known at this time about the officer involved shooting.
Fleming began by thanking the community for their patience and allowing the department to start their investigation before giving out any information. He mentioned that officers answered a 911 call for a man with a gun in the parking lot of the Walmart located on Clovis and Herndon Avenues.
Fleming said that a total of six officers were involved in the shooting and their experience ranged from six months to 20 years in service. The officers who were involved in the shooting had not previously been involved in an officer involved shooting. Fleming also said that the department didn’t have an officer involved shooting since 2016.
All officers were wearing body cameras and they were activated during the shooting, according to Fleming. Six officers fired their weapons, nine rounds were shot from rifles and six from pistols during the incident. There were a total of 15 rounds fired by the officers from a distance of 30 to 55 yards.
The person involved in the shooting was 26-year-old Nikolas Frazier from Clovis. He was given medical attention at the scene of the shooting, but died later at the Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno.
Frazier was also the person who called 911 about a man with a rifle at the Walmart parking lot. The weapon Frazier had in his possession was not a rifle but an airsoft gun that resembled a real rifle. Fleming said Frazier did not have a known criminal record and that it was his belief that this might be a case of “suicide by cop.”
“I believe at this point that it was his intention for our officers to respond and for him to point the weapon at them for them to shoot him,” Fleming said. “We don’t know why or what happened earlier in the day or earlier in the week that led him to this and that’s what we are trying to determine right now.”
Body cam footage was shown during the press conference of officers arriving at the scene and the conversation they had with Frazier.
The first officer at the scene is heard telling Fraizer to “drop the gun.” He is also asked Frazier “what is going on?” and “we don’t want to do this, let us help you.” Frazier is heard replying “no” to the officers and a few moments later officers open fire. Fleming said that Frazier made a movement to raise the airsoft rifle towards officers and that’s when officers open fire.
“A few times he (Frazier) said no and wouldn’t give a response or try to communicate with the officers,” Fleming said. “There was just no communication other than no and that was it.”
Fleming also mentioned that he is not aware of how many shots impacted Frazier and that an autopsy is currently being performed. He also said that the autopsy will reveal if Fraizer was under the influence of any drugs or alcohol during the shooting.
Fleming also praised the officers for showing restraint during the tough and difficult situation they were under and how they tried to help Frazier to put his weapon down.
“They (officers) did an amazing job showing restraint trying to encourage him to put the weapon down for over two minutes and 45 seconds,” Fleming said. “When they ended up having to use lethal force they used minimal force and stopped shooting as soon as they possibly could.”