A Bakersfield police officer who shot and injured a man armed with a rifle during a traffic stop in December 2016 was justified in his actions, according to the District Attorney's office.
Prosecutors released their findings Friday, more than a year after a Bakersfield Police Department Critical Incident Review Board found the shots fired by Officer Christian Hernandez were within department policy and state and federal guidelines.
Hernandez returned to full duty in January 2017.
Hernandez fired nine rounds at Jose Vaca, 29, when Vaca got out of a vehicle with a rifle in his hands and pointed it at Hernandez's partner. The shooting occurred at 11:38 p.m. Dec. 19, 2016, in the 1300 block of Oswell Street. Officers recovered a loaded rifle at the scene.
Vaca was wounded but survived. On Sept. 26, he pleaded no contest to assault with a semi-automatic firearm on a peace officer and a gun enhancement and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.