San Francisco Bay Area

Vacaville Police Describe What Led to Officer-Involved Shooting Monday

Vacaville police have identified a man who was fatally shot by two police officers during a vehicle pursuit Monday as 20-year-old Joseph Godinez. Godinez had ties to Vacaville, Fairfield and Napa and had an active felony warrant in Solano County for a probation violation, Vacaville police Lt. Mark Donaldson said.

San Francisco police also wanted Godinez for questioning about an armed carjacking, kidnapping and robbery in San Francisco, and Fairfield police said Godinez had recklessly evaded its officers, Donaldson said. Police also released more information this afternoon about the events that led to the fatal shooting. The pursuit began around 12:40 a.m. Monday when an officer who was traveling behind a white 1998 Honda Accord determined the Honda had been stolen out of Davis, police said.

The officer followed the Honda on eastbound Interstate Highway 80 and waited for other officers to respond, Donaldson said.

The Honda failed to stop when officers turned on their patrol cars’ lights and sirens, and the pursuit at speeds of up to 100 mph went onto the Leisure Town Road off-ramp and west onto Orange Drive, police said. One of the officers performed what police call a Pursuit Intervention Technique that spun the Honda 180 degrees until it stopped facing the wrong way on the road, Donaldson said. Godinez then accelerated recklessly and collided with an approaching police car, sending it off the road and down a steep embankment of the Nut Tree overpass, according to Donaldson.

Godinez continued driving aggressively and struck a second occupied patrol car head on, pinning the driver’s door shut, injuring the officer and trapping him inside, Donaldson said. The officer was later treated at a hospital and released. Godinez then aggressively maneuvered the Honda, leading officers to believe he intended grave harm. The officers then shot Godinez.

Despite the officers’ life-saving measures, Godinez died at the scene, Donaldson said. Suspected methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana were found in the Honda, according to Donaldson. Streets in the area were closed for hours while Vacaville police and the Solano County District Attorney’s Office investigated the case.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Detective Aaron Potter at (707) 469-4827.

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