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Escalon police officers on Wednesday night fatally shot a man who first fired at them with a shotgun, according to the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office.
The officers responded to a call on the 18000 block of Brannan Road from a woman who said her ex was threatening to kill her and her children. Three officers were at the home only a few minutes when Matthew Freeseha Jr., 39, pulled up, got out of his vehicle and immediately fired at them, Deputy Andrea Lopez, a Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman, said Thursday.
“In fear for their lives,” at least one officer returned fire, she said. Because of investigation protocol, information on how many of the officers fired at Freeseha is not being released at this time, Lopez said. Escalon officers wear body cameras, and the footage from the shooting has been entered into evidence, she said.
None of the officers was injured, nor were the woman and her children, the deputy said.
Sheriff’s deputies first were dispatched to the 7:40 p.m. call, but because they anticipated an “extended time of arrival,” they asked the police for assistance, according to a Facebook post by the Sheriff’s Office.
The officers were waiting for deputies to arrive when Freeseha showed up. After he fired at them and gunfire was returned, they provided aid until emergency medical services arrived, the post said. The Sheriff’s Office has not said whether he died at the scene, at a hospital or while en route.
The investigation into the case includes the Sheriff’s Office, the Escalon Police Department, the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office and the state Department of Justice.
This story was originally published June 6, 2019 6:43 AM.