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Ventura County DA Rules Officer Involved Fatal Shooting Justified

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Ventura County prosecutors say the fatal shooting of a man attacking a CHP officer was justified.  It was a bizarre situation which led to the fatal 2019 shooting.  Joshua Ortiz was on Highway 33 in Oak View, running in and out of traffic.  Some motorists called 9-1-1.

CHP officer Timothy Putzel arrived on the scene minutes later.  The officer stopped, and as he was starting to get out of his unit Ortiz attacked him.

The man got the officer in a headlock, so he was unable to reach his taser.

A video camera caught the rest of confrontation.  Putzel was thrown to the ground, and Ortiz continued to punch the officer in the face.  Putzel then unholstered his gun, and shot Ortiz once in the chest.

The man later died in a hospital.  The officer suffered a concussion and several fractured bones.  Ortiz had a history of mental health issues.  Some of the motorists who called 9-1-1 at the beginning of the incident say it appeared he had been trying to kill himself by running into traffic.