You have permission to edit this article.

BPD clears officers involved in April shooting death in Pumpkin Center


Investigators work a shooting scene in Pumpkin Center Monday morning. Javier Vidal, 36, was killed during an exchange of gunfire with authorities early Monday. The Kern County Sheriff's Office said he shot and killed his girlfriend, who was seven months pregnant, in Lamont before fleeing with the couple's 2-year-old son. The woman's baby was later delivered and Vidal's family member said the baby is now being treated at Valley Children's Hospital in Madera. 

The Bakersfield Police Department announced Thursday it has cleared five officers involved in a fatal shooting April 12 in Pumpkin Center.

BPD said in a news release that a review by the Kern County Sheriff's Office and the BPD's own Critical Incident Review Board determined all shots fired by Bakersfield police "were within department policy and within legal requirements." It added the employees have returned to full duty.

The investigation focused on the officer-involved shooting death of 34-year-old Javier Vidal, who the department noted was being sought on suspicion of murder and kidnapping. A BPD sergeant noted KCSO deputies and California Highway Patrol officers may also have fired at Vidal.

Vidal, originally listed as being age 36 at the time of his death, had just shot his pregnant girlfriend in the 7800 block of Florence Street in Lamont before dying in an hours-long standoff that began when officers arrived in the 2900 block of Taft Highway.

The girlfriend, identified as 34-year-old Auderyanna Diana Rivera, later died from her injuries at Kern Medical but her daughter was successfully delivered and taken to Valley Children's Hospital in Madera.